Sustainability in detail

Cows eat about 40 kilograms of grass, 15 kilograms of corn and 5 kilograms of feed concentrates a day. The feed concentrates partially consist of soy. All soy purchased for the cattle feed given to the cows that produce our milk either comes from Europe or is RTRS-certified soy. No cattle feed is grown on non-farmland such as nature reserves.
The cattle feed bought by a farmer causes 1788 grams of CO2 equivalent emissions per kilogram of cheese. 

Pasture-grazed milk

Our cheese mainly consists of pasture-grazed milk. That means that the cows producing the milk for our cheese get to graze in pastures for at least 6 hours a day, and at least 120 days a year.

Animal welfare

Throughout their lives, the cows have free access to water and food. Docking tails is prohibited.
External checks are regularly performed at all Dutch dairy farms for animal health and welfare. This is done by organisations including the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority and by veterinarians.


Calves are often dehorned to prevent them from being able to hurt each other. Dutch livestock farmers are required to use anaesthesia as well as long-acting pain relief when dehorning calves. 


All the milk for our cheese brands is produced in the Netherlands. Dairy farmers in the Netherlands are not allowed to use preventive antibiotics - only if an animal is sick and only if prescribed and administered by a veterinarian. Only under certain conditions may a livestock farmer store and administer antibiotics themselves, provided they were prescribed by a veterinarian. Compliance with this regulation is checked by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. For more information, see the Netherlands Enterprise Agency website. 

To prevent antibiotic resistance, a farm treatment plan for antibiotics is made by a veterinarian for every dairy farm. The use of antibiotics is monitored at all farms that produce our milk. If a cow is treated with antibiotics, its milk may not be supplied to the factory. Even after a course of antibiotics, the milk produced by that cow is not sent to the factory for a certain amount of time. To ensure that milk containing residual antibiotics is not used, raw milk is closely monitored. Samples are taken before the milk from the milk truck enters the dairy factory. If the sample shows traces of antibiotics, the milk is discarded. Therefore, our cheese never contains any antibiotics.

Nature and the environment

Dairy farms emit the greenhouse gases methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide. These are largely caused by the cow’s digestion and manure. In varying degrees, these greenhouse gases contribute to global warming. These are all calculated in terms of CO2 equivalents in order to make them measurable. The farms that supply our milk emit an average of 4173 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilogram of cheese.


Cows drink about 100 litres of water a day. Luckily, all of our milk comes from dairy farms located in areas with a low risk of drought, as all of our milk comes from dairy farms in the Netherlands.


All the milk for our cheese comes from dairy farms that use the Biodiversity Monitor for Dairy Farming.  For more information on the biodiversity monitor, click here. This biodiversity monitor is used to identify and track the positive and negative effects on biodiversity. Based on this biodiversity assessment, location-specific biodiversity plans have been implemented at all these dairy farms. Dairy farmers who actively work to preserve species, nature and the landscape are financially rewarded by the dairy cooperative, through the Foqus Planet programme.


Overfertilisation leads to acidification of the soil and pollution of the groundwater and surface water. All of the farmers who supply our milk have responsible policies for the use of fertilisers. This is required of all Dutch dairy farmers by law. Compliance is monitored by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. For more information, see the Netherlands Enterprise Agency website and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority website.


The farmers that supply our milk use emission reduction methods to improve air quality in and around their farms. 
Ammonia in the air is harmful to groundwater, surface water and biodiversity. Farmers reduce ammonia emissions in manure storage and in the process of soil fertilisation. That is required by Dutch laws and regulations for dairy, and all of the dairy farms that supply our milk are located in the Netherlands. For more information, see the infomil website.


Westland Kaas is a proponent of circular farming (soilbound farming) in which the company’s cattle feed is self-produced or obtained locally and in which the produced manure is used at the farm itself or in the direct surrounding area.

Cheese production


The production and processing of our cheese generates relatively low emissions in CO2 equivalents per kilogram of cheese.
See the example below (Maaslander emissions):
Cheese production: 169 grams 
Ripening: 17 grams 
Production of packaging materials: 12 grams
Packaging process: 67 grams
Distribution centre: 14 grams
Transport: 75 grams 
Subsequent refrigeration in retail and by consumers caused relatively more carbon emissions:
Retail: 412 grams
Consumers: 206 grams 
Waste processing: 12 grams
Most greenhouse gas emissions occur in livestock farming. From livestock farming to transport, emissions are between 6 - 6.5 kg (CO2 equivalent per kilogram of Maaslander cheese).


We focus on eliminating sodium nitrate E251, colourants (carotene E160a and annatto E160b) and natamycin (a fungicide in the crust).


Our cheese is made from 100% pasture-grazed milk. That is an independent certification by the Grazing Certificates Grazing Foundation (Stichting Weidegang). That means that the cows producing the milk for Maaslander cheese and Old Amsterdam cheese get to graze in pastures for at least 6 hours a day, and at least 120 days a year.

Westland Family Foundation


The Westland Family Foundation puts its corporate social responsibility into practice in various ways. Locally and regionally, we support small cultural and social charities by contributing our time and funds. Therefore, a few times a year, all of the Westland employees and family members donate our time to social institutions, by organising tactile activities with or for these groups of people.

See our Dutch website for further information