After the lunch in which we had lots of opportunity the chat and network with our Edmontonian counterparts we went on a tour of the cheese factory lead by the companies owner, Jan Schalkwijk. We learned that the quality of the cheese depends on four factors: Feeding, milking, processing and ripening. Jan explained that his son takes care of the dairy farm and they feed their cows a mix of Grass and Alfalfa which creates a creamier milk. They are very careful when milking the cows to get as little air as possible when putting the sucker on the teat as that minimizes bacterial contamination.
Jan has been a champion cheese maker for decades and knows all the right tricks to process the cheese so that the flavor is the best Gouda you can find. While Jan showed us around the different parts of the factory his wife Janneke treated us to samples of their most popular cheeses.
And Jan and Janneke are also keeping up with technology: last year they had 440 solar panels installed on their roof and they now produce more electricity over the course of a year than they consume.