Cheese production started up again at FrieslandCampina in Gerkesklooster

4 September 2014

FrieslandCampina in Gerkesklooster is producing cheese again. After the fire that broke out in the cheese storage hall on 29 July, we have given our all to resume the cheese production as soon as possible.

The cheese room remained intact, but it suffered substantial smoke damage. Because of this a new ceiling had to be placed and all machines, cheese moulds and walls were thoroughly cleaned. The fire partly destroyed the brine room. Half of the brine room is ready for use again at this moment. In the past few days, the brine bath was filled with 1 million litres of brine coming from other FrieslandCampina cheese plants. The other half of the brine room is still under repair. Expectations are that this part will be put into use again in January.

Wednesday 3 September saw the production of the first cheeses after the fire. If everything goes according to plan, the plant will produce the original volume of over 50,000,000 kilos of cheese again as from January 2015.

The cheese is now stored at the premises in a storage hall that was not affected by the fire. Here the cheese will remain for fifteen days, after which it will further mature at other locations.

The 175 employees in Gerkesklooster played significant roles in this quick resumption of the production after the fire. Special teams worked together with external companies on repairing the damage.

The production of Valess was already resumed on 15 August and the production of milk powder was restarted on 23 August.