Elizabeth, NJ— CONO Kaasmakers – the makers of Beemster Premium Dutch Cheese – is the first Dutch Dairy Co-op to go beyond being climate neutral and commits to the ambitious initiative to be climate positive by 2030. Incremental changes are being implemented throughout the Co-op – from the farms, artisanal cheesemaking and through delivery to consumers. Historically, the Beemster Co-op has led the way in sustainable cheesemaking and is proud to be officially certified climate neutral.
As an artisanal cheesemaker, Beemster has not only focused on creating the best tasting, most premium Gouda, but also built far-reaching, robust sustainability programs. Beemster was the first Dutch Dairy Co-op to compensate its farmers with a “free-grazing” premium, as well as establish Caring Dairy, a farm-based program, which focuses on Happy Cows, Happy Planet & Happy Farmers. Initiatives like these led to Beemster securing climate neutral certification. Now, Beemster is leading the way to climate POSITIVE.
Above and beyond EU 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 deep under the Beemster soil. The Beemster Co-op has a tradition of protecting cows, land, and the overall environment, and the Co-op is keenly aware that climate change brings difficult challenges to the world. The time to be part of the solution is now. Beemster’s track record in sustainability success and its enduring commitment will meet the challenges and lead the way to climate positive premium Gouda.
As with the incremental changes that led to Beemster’s climate neutral certification, the entire farmer-owned cooperative embraces the initiatives ahead to become climate positive. The Chairman of the Beemster Co-op Farmers’ Board of Directors, Evert Kremer, added: “We will do this together. … we continuously improve our sustainability. In addition, we implement CO2 compensation projects at our farms and dairy, as close to home as possible, and as far away as necessary. “
Beemster CEO, Wim Betten: “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. 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.”