BLOOM has been working with the Mountainoak team to tackle their water use and water management. Mountainoak wants to expand their production but faces challenges surrounding water. Naturally, they came to BLOOM for guidance. BLOOM is halfway through the project and decided to check-in with Julie Clarke from Mountainoak Cheese.
Why are you interested in improving your water management practices?
Water here is very hard and sulphate is also a problem, this is difficult to get rid of. We also have a limited water supply for the plant since we rely entirely on on-site sources of water. We want to grow and need a good and trusted water supply to do this. Our goal is to be able to get good quality and safe water for the cows, the processing of milk, and cheese production while still nurturing the environment.
A happy cow makes for a happy farmer!
What do you hope to get out of this water use characterization and exploration of opportunities with BLOOM?
Being able to partner with BLOOM is offering Mountainoak an opportunity like no other. With BLOOM we are being provided with an opportunity to gain knowledge about our current water situation and be offered insight into potential solutions. BLOOM helps us to navigate the network of otherwise overwhelming and sometimes confusing options to zero in on what is right for Mountainoak. We’re looking forward to seeing what innovative solutions will care for the environment and make economic sense and to sharing these insights with other cheese makers.
Tell us a bit about Mountainoak Cheese?
Mountainoak Cheese is a farmstead Gouda cheese-making company near Kitchener, Ontario. Adam van Bergeijk was already a cheese maker in The Netherlands before coming to Canada in 1996. Adam started farming right away and in 2012 Mountainoak Cheese made its entrance on the market.
At Mountainoak Cheese we oversee every aspect of the final product from the first seed planted to the delivery of the Farmstead Gouda cheese. We know the importance of each step to making a quality product, including the feed, the milk, the well being of the cows and finally the cheese. All these things need hard work, commitment and great care.
Right now Mountainoak Cheese is processing about 250,000 liters of milk per year and we hope to be able to grow to processing 2,000,000 liters of milk per year.