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Holland Dairy History

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Holland Dairy History

The Netherlands has a long history of dairy production, with the first forms of dairy production and processes dating back to the Middle Ages. When fresh milk was not used instantly and without means to keep the milk fresh, it was processed into cheese to lengthen its shelf life.

Holland has always had abundant supplies of grass highly suitable for the grazing of cows. Between the 13th and 16th centuries there was a boom in the dairy industry with cheese being one of the most important forms of dairy.

At that time, Dutch people already used the Friesian cow, the famous black and white cow that has always been typical to Holland. These Dutch cows are still the most productive type of cow used in almost every dairy farm in the world.

At the end of the 19th century the first dairy factories started to pop up. The gathering of multiple farmers into coops resulted in early increased production efficiency and increased knowledge of their products. The foundation of Holland as a global specialist in dairy was laid.

Over the course of the 20th century supervising bodies such as the COKZ emerged controlling and maintaining the high quality standard of the milk production. With arguably the most stringent quality control of dairy products in the world, Holland still enjoys a reputation as a dairy producer of highly nutritious and extremely safe milk products.