CONO Kaasmakers, makers of Beemster Premium Dutch Cheese, is the latest company to double down on its commitment to sustainability. Recently, the cheesemaker announced it will go beyond being climate neutral and embark on becoming climate positive by 2030. The Dutch Dairy Co-op is implementing incremental changes throughout its operations—from its farms through its artisanal cheesemaking, through delivery to its customers and consumers.
“Expressing ambition is a beautiful thing. More people should. I know that with our generations of knowledge and craftsmanship, we will meet or exceed our targets. It won’t always be easy, and we’ll have to make some tough choices along the way. But now that the targets have been set, we will get there, no matter what,” Wim Betten, CEO, Beemster. “As always, we listen to the input from our Co-op member farmers as well our community. We’re working on innovative projects that reduce or capture CO2 emissions. It started with the ambition to reach an important target. As it gained momentum, you could feel the excitement grow, and you could see the team get on board.”
As an artisanal cheesemaker, the Beemster Co-op has not only focused on creating the best-tasting, most premium Gouda, but the Co-op has also built far-reaching robust sustainability programs. The Beemster Co-op was one of the first Dutch Dairy Co-ops to compensate its member farmers with a “free-grazing” premium. Subsequently, noted the release, the Beemster Co-op implemented the farm-based “Caring Dairy” program, which focuses on Happy Cows, Happy Planet & Happy Farmers.
These programs have contributed to the Beemster Co-op being officially certified climate neutral, but more importantly, they reflect the Co-op’s enduring commitment to sustainability. In addition, the co-op’s Caring Dairy sustainability program consists of 18 measurable parameters that result in more sustainable dairy farming. Beemster also continually improves its transportation efficiencies, cheesemaking practices, as well as its packaging.
The Beemster Co-op’s ambitious goal of being climate positive by 2030 will help support a better planet for future generations.
“We will do this together. One of the strengths of our Co-op is that we build on the knowledge and skills of generations of farmers and cheesemakers to make the highest quality cheese and that we continuously improve our sustainability,” Evert Kremer, Chairman of the Farmers’ Board, Beemster Co-op. “In addition, we implement CO2 compensation projects at our farms and dairy, as close to home as possible, and as far away as necessary. Happy Cows, Happy Planet & Happy Farmers are among our priorities, so our cows continue to graze freely, and our farmers feel connected and are all on board.”
In addition to various European Union directives, the Dutch government has set supplementary targets which the Netherlands must reach by 2030 and 2050. These targets include guidelines for specific CO2 reduction by 2030, and for the entire country to be climate neutral by 2050.
Climate positive goes much further than climate neutral. Besides requiring significant reductions in the release of CO2, it also requires drawing CO2 from the atmosphere, for example by planting more trees and sequestering CO2 into the soil deep under its meadows.
As incremental changes are being implemented throughout the Beemster Co-op, its cheesemaking dairy—which has been producing climate-neutral Gouda—will be a significant part of the conversion to climate positive.
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