Walk into any Amsterdam cheese shop and you'll find tourists raving about the exquisite tastes. Royal Dutch CSK provides the secret ingredient to these world-famous cheeses.
What they probably do not know, is that all these famous Dutch cheeses get their specific taste and texture from: Royal CSK, a specialist in food enrichment and the tastemaker behind virtually all known dairy products in the Netherlands – as well as a growing number on the international market.
CSK collects, stores and develops lactic acid bacteria cultures for nearly all cheesemakers in the Netherlands. “You could say that without CSK there would be no Dutch cheese”, Managing Director Sanne Melles explains with a smile. “The beauty of dairy cultures is that they do not only ensure natural preservation of dairy products, but also define their taste and texture. As preservers and taste innovators, we have contributed to a great export product and a global success story.”
Tradition and technology
Started by a handful of farmers in 1905, CSK – an abbreviation of Cooperatieve Stremsel- en Kleurselfabriek, or the Cooperative Rennet and Colouring Company - was built on a traditional craft passed down from generation to generation. Over time, this ancient knowledge evolved into a system of advanced microbiological technologies for managing taste and texture as well as many other natural functionalities. In the 1990s CSK became a corporation and in its centenary year, in 2005, the company was awarded the designation ‘royal’, along with the right to place a crown over the company logo – an honour given by the Dutch government to reputable, influential businesses that have existed for at least 100 years.
While remaining loyal to the Dutch dairy industry and culture, CSK is ambitious and growing strongly. The firm recently moved its research operations to the University of Wageningen campus, the world's top research institute for food technology. CSK has also opened a new production facility in Leeuwarden, in the North of the country, more than doubling its capacity. “We now do for dairy products worldwide what we have already been doing for Dutch cheeses: ensuring great taste! As strong believers in enjoying memorable flavours together, we help our clients to produce a range of winning dairy products. Taste can build a bridge between people, between cultures, and we’re proud to play a leading role in that task.”