3 generations ago this factory was already managed by the Anema Family
The Anema family has a long agricultural tradition in the province of Friesland in the Netherlands, this region is known for its dairy products. One of my grandfathers also had a dairy farm and the other one was manager of a cheese and butter factory. My father made a slight detour, but I, Jan Anema, after studying horticulture went back to the family roots... And who knows, maybe the next generation as well...
In the Netherlands, on a rented farm, we started making organic Gouda cheese. In 1987 we came to Portugal - Alentejo, where we also started a farm, which since the beginning also had the goal of producing milk, but also had a multifunctional goal, which according to our vision was developing several programs of Social nature and lately programs of Environmental and sustainability education for young people, and also therapeutically intervention.
In 2010 we stepped over to Organic Farming and also started to produce Cheese again... We like to bring the city closer to the countryside, agriculture and the Creation.Our lands were transformed into organic farming in a responsible and respectful attitude towards our Creator, as we are only stewards of this land.
We are promoting biodiversity by providing safe places for a variety of animals, reinforcing the link between nature and agriculture.
For us, agriculture is in fact culture, and not an Industry.
Producing not only food, but also fresh air and diversity as not only cows, but even people can find shelter, rest and guidance.
Our cows have been crossed over with a more rustic and less vulnerable breed (comparing to intensive production breeds). We choose the Dutch "Blaarkop" breed which some years ago was even in risk of extinction. The breed produces milk with excellent characteristics like fatty acids, and also excellent meat quality. Permanent grazing (except with heavy rain and growing season) and minimal external food reinforces the quality of the milk even more. This is per definition a breed for sustainable agriculture as it carries a very old genetic code so its less vulnerable to modern diseases.
We produce Gouda cheese, the most famous Dutch cheese. As this is not an industrial made cheese, this milk is not pasteurized which gives it its characteristic flavor. Pasteurization also removes all enzymes necessary for its ripening and digestion. Therefore it does not need any conversant or fungicides and has a ripening period of at least 3 months. All equipment used it traditional.
Besides the Organic Agricultural certification, we also adhered to the CSS (Comércio Solidário e sustentável) a regional association that promotes regional and sustainable commerce.