More than a hundred years of dairy history

At Rouveen Kaaspecialiteiten we have a rich dairy history made possible by a passion for our craft.

Dairy cooperatives

At the beginning of the last century there were fifteen small dairies in the villages of Staphorst and Rouveen. By 1987 only four of these remained. The Cooperative Dairy Rouveen Kaasspecialiteiten resulted from a 1987 merger between the “De Vlijt” and “De Kleine Winst” dairies. Our cooperative has remained independent since 1905. The factory started production on the 22nd of January 1906. In that year 500,000 litres of milk were processed. In 1987 we processed 500,000 litres per week and by 2017 that had increased to 4,000,000 per week.

‘Rouveen has a rich dairy history’

A new factory

In 1931 construction of a new factory building was completed. The annual report for that year states that the building ‘can satisfy all the requirements for a modern butter and cheese factory and is a precious local asset. A factory of which its members can rightly be proud.’ In practice it would be a number of years before the cheese making facilities would be put to use. Up until the second world war it remained a factory for the production of butter and buttermilk. During the occupation changes to national dairy policy made it compulsory to also produce cheese.

Milk cans

1994 saw another important milestone for many of the dairy farmers in the area of Rouveen. The cooperative still received ‘milk cans’ up until the end of 1994 (it was one of the last cooperatives in the Netherlands to do so).

For more information about dairy history in the municipality of Staphorst see the book ‘100 jaar melk en diek’ published by the Staphorst Historical Society in collaboration with Rouveen Kaasspecialiteiten. The book is available from the Historical Society in Staphorst.