Why do we do it?

We want to set a positive example by meeting the needs of today's generations without compromising those of future generations. Ultimately our goal is to continue investing in sustainable projects, sharing our progress on everything from reducing our environmental footprint to providing a pleasant and fulfilling workplace for our employees. We're committed to improving the nutritional quality of our products and helping our dairy farmers to create sustainable businesses. It's what we do. Every day. With a smile.

LIVING YELLOW

It's a bit like being green, but with a sunny twist. Because it's not just about being eco-friendly, it's about being friendly. Friendly to the environment, our cows, our people, our partners and our fans. It's a long-term vision (some of our objectives are set for 2020 and beyond) so we're not just focussing on the here and now. We've set our hearts on it and we're sticking with it. Keeping things simple. Being kind. Smiling more. Those are our mottos - live yellow and enjoy it.

GREAT CHEESE

Making a deliciously natural and high-quality cheese that is easy to love, simple to prepare and good to eat. It's what gets us out of bed in the morning - sometimes at the hour that you'll just be nodding off. We collect our milk and make our cheese with passion and humility, using a team who are committed to supporting one another and meeting the challenges sustainable business can bring. It may not always the case when it comes to football, but when it comes to sustainability, we Dutch are hard to beat. For this reason all Leerdammer products are made in Holland using 100% Dutch milk. It's all part of making something that tastes great.

GIVING BACK

As a company, we know we take from the earth to make and sell our products. For that reason it's really important to us that we give something back. That's why we adopt the principles of sustainable business and incorporate them into day-to-day life at Leerdammer.

ALWAYS DOING MORE

We realise that we can always do more, whether that be through our own efforts or by following someone else's example. We want to continue to educate our partners in the value of sustainability and remain committed to the environment by asking our suppliers to do the same.

YOU

What’s our inspiration? Well, it's you! Making good cheese is one thing, but making great cheese means making it for people to enjoy. We know you'll enjoy it most if it's made with the same respect for life and mother nature as you have yourself. The fact that the LEERDAMMER team is made up of people who share your social and environmental concerns means it's smiles all round.

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HOW WE DO IT

Achieving our goals involves taking on some pretty big challenges. Sometimes we follow the lead of other companies who have pre-existing programmes. Sometimes we have to make our own path. Either way, we find taking a simple, human, everyday approach works best...

Build on your strengths

EXTEND IT
THE LEERDAMMER WAY…

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WE BUILD ON OUR CULTURE

As much as we'd love to, we can't save the planet overnight. We need to stay focussed and make a difference where we can. Using the Five Pillars set up by our parent company Bel, we're able to set our priorities. Priorities that reflect the Bel group's mission to 'bring smiles to families everywhere, through the pleasure of our products, made with dairy goodness.' These pillars keep our business on track.

HOW WE DO IT

NUTRITION & RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTS

Our priority is to Contribute to the Sustainable Dairy Chain.

RESPONSIBLE COMMUNICATION AND CONSUMPTION

Our priorities are to improve the nutritional values of our products and ensure they are as natural as possible, making information clear and transparent to our consumers.

ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT

Our priority is to decrease our environmental footprint and reduce food wastage.

PARTNERSHIPS & SOCIETY

Our priority is to develop our brand's social responsibly and introduce more sustainable projects.

COMMITTED EMPLOYER

Our priority is to get our people behind our social responsibility programme

SPREAD THE LOVE

Our people know we are serious about CSR. We know they're serious about it too. Leerdammer initiatives have been a part of our culture since 1994. That's why sustainable entrepreneurship is second nature to us, and why we like recruiting people who share our values. All our employees know they have a role to play in improving sustainability in business - whether it's using environmentally friendly ink to print our labels, FSC®-certified wooden shelves to mature our cheese or good, old-fashioned word of mouth to spread our Living Yellow attitude.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE

We recognise that we need to live in harmony with our local communities. That we need to preserve our natural resources and protect human health. It's why we have a dedicated team to address these vital issues. Corporate Social Responsibility has been a key pillar of our brand and this is why we've been doing it for years - long before CSR became a hot topic.

PUT IN WHAT YOU WANT TO GET OUT

At the moment we have around 20 CSR activities which are up and running. Of course, we have to free up resources (people and money) to support them, but we believe CSR is an investment, not an expense. That's because we measure our success not only in economic terms but also in ecological and social terms (the people and the planet), and why many of our initiatives are not cost-driven. In fact, most of them actually increase our costs, such as the modernisation of our trucks. Technology plays a part too. Sometimes the industry has just not caught up with our high CSR targets. Take our sliced cheese 'CLICK' packaging for example. To make it 100% recyclable we have to use a plastic that is made from just one material, while not negatively affecting the cheese. It's not yet technically possible, but we've not given up. Instead, we've created our own team to investigate the problem.

WHAT WE'RE DOING

We support pasture grazing for our cows. Happy cows make happy milk, which also makes happy cheese :‑). Even if this wasn't the case, we would still be promoting pasture grazing for our bovine friends. Cows love the great outdoors. And we love cows. The maths is simple. Our answer is making sure the farmers we work with let their livestock graze for at least six hours a day, 120 days of the year.

We support pasture grazing for our cows.

We support pasture grazing for our cows. Happy cows make happy milk, which also makes happy cheese :‑). Even if this wasn't the case, we'd still be promoting pasture grazing for our bovine friends. Cows love the great outdoors. And we love cows. The maths is simple. Our answer is making sure the farmers we work with let their livestock grave for at least six hours a day, 120 days of the year.

  • TODAY

    • 72% of the farms we work with participate in our pasture grazing programme.
    • Workshops on free grazing
    • Financial incentives for allowing cows to graze.
  • TOMORROW

    • Retain the 72% of farms that are currently producing 62% of our milk through free grazing.

TELLING IT LIKE IT IS

The Dutch may be known for mashing their potatoes, but mincing our words? Never! It's all or nothing in Leerdammer land. In fairness, we can be a little direct when it comes to confessing how 'good' you actually look in that outfit, but who wants the truth about their food dressed up with false compliments? When it comes to telling you about our cheese, we're committed to telling it like it is - from provenance to portion values. All the formulas, processes and nutritional values are plain to see our on packaging and our website.

  • TODAY

    • Making products according to FIC regulations (Food Information to Consumers)
  • TOMORROW

    • Complete adaptation to FIC regulations before December 2014

MAKING MORE FROM USING LESS

The less plastic we use, the more environmentally friendly our packaging is. This simple idea made us 'click', just like our Leerdammer 'Click' packaging. Our technology experts have found that we can make our packaging just as sturdy, with less plastic, by making our packs shallower with a thinner film. This is not only good for the environment, but also those who like to keep their cheese super fresh for longer. In addition to this, we only use packaging material and paper with FSC® certification. It's only the paper on our cheese wheels which aren't currently FSC® certified. This is not yet technically possible, but we're working on it...

  • TODAY

    • FSC® certified display cases and wooden ripening shelves
  • TOMORROW

    • The FSC® logo on the back of our 'Click' packaging labels
    • 2020: 100% APET recoverable 'Click' packaging through use of monomaterials

WORKING TOGETHER

Sharing is caring' is more than just a cheesy saying for us. It's a sound business policy that helps us promote sustainability and best practice - and get better at doing things the right way. Since 2012, we've been running regular workshops with farmers on topics such as energy saving, helping cows to live longer and how to apply the CowCompass. We keep the groups small (10 people or less) so everyone can have their say, and we invite independent experts to make sure the advice we give and receive is spot on.

  • TODAY

    • 29 workshops from 2012 to 2013
    • 272 dairy farms participate in our workshops
    • 21% of Leerdammer dairy farms
  • TOMORROW

    • 25 more workshops between October and December 2014
    • 50 workshops in total over the course of 2014
    • Considerable financial investment in workshops for 2015

EMPLOYEES

We care about our company. Without our people, we'd just be a few building and cheese racks. No cows, no cheese, no culture. So it really matters to us that the people who work here feel at home, without discrimination, and that they can grow on their own terms. That they stay safe and remain healthy. And that they receive all the benefits they deserve.

  • TODAY

    • Childcare allowance
    • Flexible home working arrangements
    • Employee satisfaction survey
    • Local training opportunities
    • Booklets on benefits and compensation
  • TOMORROW

    • Training management module
    • Ensure a high level of internal job rotation and associated career enrichment