The Beemster name is synonymous with a heritage as rich as our famous cheese.
Beemster was the first polder created in the Netherlands through the use of classical and Renaissance land planning and, of course, windmills! Through a land plan of fields, canals and dikes, the land was reclaimed from under water in the very early years of the 17th Century. The original idea was to farm the reclaimed land, but crops refused to grow and a certain pesky grass just kept taking over. So the farmers of Beemster decided to graze their livestock instead.
They soon discovered that the slate-blue clay that served as the soil was rich in minerals and nutrients, producing a grass their animals loved and a uniquely rich milk that was sweeter and creamier than they had ever tasted.
Milk and cheese became hallmarks of Beemster and in 1901 the farmers founded a cooperative to protect the land and environment of the Beemster Polder, establish quality and standards of care for farmers and animals alike, and to define the taste of Beemster.
For centuries, the plan of the Beemster Polder has been protected and largely unchanged. In 1999 UNESCO registered the Beemster Polder as a World Heritage Site, recognizing the polder’s innovation and creativity.
Today, the Beemster family farmers manage small herds that graze freely on the Beemster Polder. The cows have free range access to pastures for as long as is safe and healthy for them throughout the year. Our award-winning cheeses are crafted by master cheese makers who train through apprenticeship, honoring recipes and traditions handed down for generations. Our new cheese facility is the greenest and most eco-friendly in the industry. And our cheeses are still aged on wooden boards in historic stone warehouses. You can taste our heritage in every wheel crafted at Beemster.