Artikaas. You’ve seen their brightly-colored wheels in our product catalog and monthly spotlight, and perhaps you’ve sunk your teeth into their melt-in-the-mouth goudas. Today we’re doing a deep dive into their sustainability practices.
Artikaas, which translates to “The Art of Cheese,” is a Dutch artisanal cheese brand that has truly mastered the art of cheesemaking. Despite being established only a decade ago in 2012 by the Bouter and Anker families, Artikaas’ practices are deeply rooted in Dutch traditions. The company pays respect to its ancestors by following the sustainable and socially responsible practices they once established. Their commitment to the well-being of the community, animals, and the land, is certainly demonstrated in everything they do. From reducing their carbon footprint to using high-tech gadgets that ensure cows get the life they deserve, Artikaas is taking the right steps to protect our environment.
Making A Difference
We’re sure you’ve heard many brands talk about sustainability, but we feel that it’s more than just a buzzword for the Artikaas team. The company has implemented a range of sustainable and eco-friendly dairy practices. Here are a few ways Artikaas is working to make a difference:
From Happy Cows to Healthy Milk
At Artikaas, sustainability starts with the milk. They work closely with local dairy farmers who are committed to sustainable farming practices to produce high-quality milk. These farmers prioritize the welfare of their cows and the environment. They use natural fertilizers, avoid harmful pesticides, and provide their cows with a healthy, balanced diet. The cows lead an idyllic life, spending over 6 hours a day grazing in the pasture and being nourished with a diet of fresh grass in the summer and grass and corn silage in the winter.
Artikaas is well-aware that the quality of milk is tied to the quality of life of each herd, so they took several more steps to ensure animal well-being.
On the low-tech side:
- All their partners use comfortable, modern barns with sufficient light and fresh air flow.
- The cows have access to relaxing brush stations that help cows scratch out-of-reach places.
On the high-tech side:
- We’d like to introduce you to our favorite gadget ever: The KoeKompass… which translates to “CowCompass”! This monitor is a high-tech ankle bracelet and necklace allowing cows to decide when to be milked by an automatic milking robot.
Providing farms with this technology and rolling out sustainability programs not only helps the animals but the workers as well. Veterinarians at these farms obtain a better understanding of the cows’ health and needs and dairy farmers are rewarded with financial bonuses for helping preserve and develop diversity. Additionally, by sourcing milk from these farms, Artikaas supports agriculture and the local economy, reduces their environmental impact, and provides us with delicious cheese we then bring to you. Everyone wins!
Renewable Energy Solutions
The Dutch cheese brand has also committed to reducing its carbon footprint by using renewable energy sources. They have installed over 4,000 solar panels on their buildings, generating enough energy to power their cheese-making process. And if that wasn’t enough, any remaining energy is fed back into the grid, providing enough energy to power about 300 average households a year!
Speaking of not wasting any energy, Artikaas is on its path to zero-waste cheesemaking.
It goes without saying that Artikaas has mastered the art of cheesemaking, but that’s not the only thing it’s mastered. The company has a beyond-impressive waste management system. Instead of letting all the water used in cheesemaking go down the drain, Artikaas recirculates it, reducing their water usage by a whopping 75%! And that’s not all, they prevent food wastage by using all parts of the milk to create their cheeses. The leftovers – we’re talking millions of tons of whey water here – are sanitized and reused to create animal feed, protein powder, or used to clean facilities.
Now that we’re all aware of Artikaas’ unwavering dedication to sustainability and its commitment to producing high-quality products, we would like to share with you our top picks of Artikaas cheeses that we currently carry.
Bright and herbaceous with a hint of spice, reminiscent of Argentinian-style chimichurri. Artikaas Chimichurri Gouda has savory garlic, fresh parsley, and cilantro sprinkled throughout. This delicious and versatile cheese is an excellent addition to any elegant cheese and cured meat board or as a delectable snack. We recommend pairing it with a cabernet sauvignon or amber ales.
Wheel (Item #: 36S118 | 1/10 LBS.)
Precut (Item #: 36S117| 12/6 OZ.)
Crafted from the milk of cows grazing on the mineral-rich grasses in the North of Holland, Youngsters Baby Swiss is aged for 4 to 6 weeks. The aging process results in a rich and buttery texture with a mild, nutty flavor. This cheese is perfect for shredding or melting into any recipe. To take your taste buds to the next level, consider pairing Youngsters Baby Swiss with a fruity Pinot Grigio.
Wheel (Item #: 37S211 | 1/25 LBS.)
Precut (Item #: 359907 | 12/6 OZ.)
Artikaas is a great example of how a company can prioritize sustainability without compromising on quality or taste. They have carefully put their passion, skill, and knowledge together to create the best flavors and textures in their cheese while truly making a positive impact on our environment. So, if you love cheese as much as we do and want to take part in the cheese-centric sustainability movement, be sure to check out Artikaas.