Historien om Beemster

Caring Dairy, our sustainability program

Beemster feels responsible for its farmers, its cows and the environment. Caring Dairy helps the Beemster dairy farmers with guidelines and advice by making their farms and the dairy more sustainable.

Caring Dairy is an initiative of ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's and the Beemster coop, which is the exclusive provider of milk for Ben & Jerry’s European ice cream production.
The program originally started with eleven participating dairy farmers. Now, a few years later, 550 farmers, who on average have 44 cows participate in the program. The farmers are rewarded for their participation with a premium milk price, which is unique in Europe.

An important aspect of Caring Dairy starts in the pasture. The cows, which provide the milk Beemster cheeses are made from, graze freely in the pastures from spring through fall. These free ranging cows have enhanced milk quality, as nature provides the most fresh grasses. Cows grazing in the Beemster polder have special ingredients such as Omega-6 and 7 and other nutritional elements in the milk that occur naturally. Additionally, Caring Dairy allows for the cows to have more natural grazing conditions. There is a minimum number of days required that the cows should be outside in the pasture.

In the guidelines for Caring Dairy attention is given to the environment: conservation of energy and other sustainable aspects of farming. The Caring Dairy program also provides the farmers with insight as to how to optimally manage their farms through forums which bring the Beemster farmers together to share ideas.