At De Graafstroom, everything centres on our cheese and how we can produce it by the most responsible methods possible. We make our honest, delicious and naturally matured cheese with passion and skill and with respect for people, animals and our planet. We believe that these aspects are of paramount importance. We are not afraid of taking responsibility and protecting our future.
The most important ingredient of cheese is milk. We believe that it is very important that our farmers farm by sustainable methods and care properly for their animals. Read more about it here: responsible farming. In our dairy, we don’t waste as much as a kilo of a residual product. All our cheese is used, and we use all the waste flows in their entirety too. The whey that the process produces is an important ingredient in baby-food and the cream is used to make whipping cream and similar products.
ENERGY & WATER
When we make any investment at all in our dairy, we first ask ourselves whether we can cut back on our use of energy and whether we can do it so that our processes have less impact on our environment. A good example of such an investment is the new thermistor we have installed, which is much more efficient than the old one. We have also invested in a new device for drawing water from whey as it thickens so that it is actually suitable for drinking, which means we need less tap water.
FOOD & HEALTH
Can we actually improve on a traditional product like our naturally matured Gouda cheese? Well, of course we can! Our cheese supplies many important nutrients, but it contains fat and salt too. We follow the guidelines for a healthy diet when we develop our cheese, so we try and make it with the lowest possible levels of fat and salt - without impairing the flavour, obviously!
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS WASTE
Of course, we produce waste. The question is, though, what do we do with it? We have separate collections for as many materials, such as waste paper and plastic, as we can. In addition, we purify our waste water produced by the cheese production process and we make biogas from the sludge produced during that procedure.
As you can see, there is a lot going on at our dairy and on our farms. But we’re not there yet. Our staff are very concious of making sure they are careful with energy and that they recycle wherever possible. In fact, our own staff have suggested the best improvement projects and initiatives; they are also the people who help formulate and implement our current CSR policy. At present, we are working on: improving our water purification process, the “There’s no such thing as waste” project and a project to optimise our employees’ health. As you can see, we’re hard at work. In addition to making our honest, delicious and naturally matured cheese, we believe in actively helping to preserve our planet. We want to keep the things we have borrowed from the planet in good condition, so we can pass them on to the next generation. This is good stewardship, the foundations we have built in our (green) heart for our work in the future.