We live for industry milestones across the specialty foods and deli space. One company that always rises to the occasion is Beemster, an operation that has reached a new milestone this year, achieving its standing as one of the first Dutch dairies to be certified climate neutral. Ongoing innovation in sustainability and a rigorous evaluation process mark the qualifications of the official climate-neutral certification from the Climate Neutral Group which Beemster has earned.
“To achieve top performance, you have to excel in all areas. For more than 100 years, Beemster has been working in this way, with this vision,” said Wim Betten, CEO of CONO Kaasmakers. “We've developed the expertise to employ the most modern and energy-efficient techniques while staying true to our traditions and heritage.”
Beemster has long been committed to being carbon neutral and has always committed to sustainability initiatives.
Beemster’s cheese dairy was constructed with sustainable materials and environmentally-friendly building techniques, company documents stated. The powerhouse has invested in energy-efficient technology, including a system to cool the building with ice-water and centrifuges to skim fresh milk.
“The milk that comes here directly from the farms must first be skimmed. Centrifuges work under vacuum pressure, which means that we need much less energy to operate them,” Betten explained.
In addition, Beemster has faced one of the biggest challenges of cheesemaking head-on: the amount of water and energy required. Through a commitment to innovation, Beemster has taken major steps in recycling these resources. One area that Beemster has addressed is the heat used to process the cold milk. The resulting whey is warm and must be cooled down again.
“We allow these two products to flow past each other in tubes through a plate changer. That is how the milk heats up and the whey cools down," Betten said. The water in this process is then recycled and used to clean the dairy.
On top of these already impressive initiatives, Beemster also has a growing number of farmers generating their own green electricity through solar panels and wind turbines with the goal of eventually generating sufficient renewable, green energy for the entire process through all members of its dairy cooperative. To neutralize the remaining CO2 emissions, Beemster partners with Climate Neutral Group in a CO2 compensation program. One of those projects is forest conservation in Brazil. This project creates jobs, improves the environment, and reduces CO2 emissions.
There are many other programs Beemster has put into place to impact and lighten its environmental footprint from its free-grazing, grass-fed dairy farming that has a lower impact on the environment to its Beemster Bijenlint–or Bee Corridor—which was planted from the Beemster Dairy through six member-farms. The Corridor is a beautiful stretch of wildflowers and native plants that boosts the number of pollinating insects in the region and fosters biodiversity.
Can we say more? Of course, we can. But, I believe these amazing achievements speak for themselves.