Did you know?

Beemster Gouda, a cheese reclaimed from the sea

In 1612, the Beemster Polder was the first area in the Netherlands to be reclaimed from the sea thanks to the extraction of water by windmills.

It took 2 years of work to make the polder ready and organised into roads, canals, dikes and settlements. It was soon inhabited by crop and livestock farmers and, thanks to its original structure remaining intact, in 1999, it was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The area is located 4 metres below sea level and, because of this, the soil of the Beemster Polder is extraordinarily fertile, consisting as it does of a very special marine clay.

In this polder,
cows graze
freely in fields
of lush,
pesticide-free greenery.

The grass of the region has a high mineral salt content, and this makes the cow's milk milder and sweeter than in other areas. This characteristic led to the milk from the area of the Beemster Polder becoming recognised throughout the Netherlands.

The milk is used to produce

Beemster cheese, making it creamier and tastier than any other Dutch cheese.

Master craftsmen make their cheese wheels using artisanal methods that have been passed down through the generations. They are, for example, the only ones that, to this day, still use traditional open drainage containers.
All Beemster Gouda cheeses age under optimum conditions in traditional cheese dairies.

In 1901, several farmers from the villages of the polder decided to join forces and establish a cooperative. They built a number of small factories to develop and perfect their method. Between 1930 and 1950, other cooperatives and factories joined the initiative, and the processes and company became professionalised.
Finally, in 1991, the cooperative formed the group that is known today: CONO KAASMAKERS.

Beemster's long history as the Netherlands' most famous cheese dairy has earned it the honour of being a supplier to the Dutch Royal House, the highest distinction that can be granted to a cheese company in the Netherlands. It is, after all, the only Gouda with PDO in the Netherlands.

Beemster's master cheesemakers follow traditional and secret recipes that have been passed down through the years, always using natural ingredients, providing the human touch of craftsmanship and ageing cheeses on wooden boards in perfect conditions. The cheeses are cleaned and rotated regularly, thus ensuring perfect maturing.

Today, CONO works with more than 475 farmers.
Around 30,000 tons of Beemster cheese of varying ages are produced every year.

One of the company's main projects is to continue promoting sustainability initiatives,such as its 2020 CO2 neutralisation scheme to reduce its use of water by 75% and gas and electricity by 25%.

This building has won several awards, including the Arie Keppler Prize for best building in North Holland and the ARC14 Architecture Award for the most sustainable building.

In 2015, CONO opened
a new plant, a building geared towards sustainability
and respect for the environment.