The Beemster Story
Beemster farmers are passionate about the welfare of their cows, and you can taste it!
The Farmers are in Charge
Did you know that Beemster is a cooperative, and that the cheese dairy is therefore owned by the Beemster farmers themselves? Cooperatives are unique because their members - in this case the farmers - are in charge. Together they determine the course the cheese dairy will take, and it also means that 100% of the Beemster’s profit goes straight to the farmers.
Each year, the farmers - in groups of around 10 farmers - follow three Caring Dairy workshops. The workshops are lead by an expert (e.g. a veterinarian or a researcher from Wageningen University). Together with the expert, the farmers examine a particular subject, such as animal welfare or energy use. At the end of the workshop, the farmer draws up an action plan with a list of measures that he will take to improve the sustainability of his business.
Most dairy farms are family-run businesses. This means that the farmers work seven days a week, since the cows have to be fed and milked every single day. Within Caring Dairy we are always looking for ways to work more efficiently, giving the farmer more spare time and the opportunity to have a social life and visit family and friends.
Happy Farmers in Practice
• “The workshops have made me aware of the fact that I cannot do all the work at my farm myself, even though I may want to.” Antoon Stokman.
• “I think it is important that the consumer knows that dairy farmers are doing the right thing by producing milk in a responsible way.” Jonges family.
• On Ascension Day, the De Wit family introduced 1000 people to farming life by organizing an open day at their dairy farm. They also collected €1000 for the Foundation StopHersentumoren.nl on this day.