More burglaries and thefts are targeting Dutch cheese farms

More burglaries and thefts are targeting Dutch cheese farms

A growing number of Dutch dairies are falling victim to thefts and burglaries according to an interview given by members of the Association of Farm Dairy Producers to RTL Nieuws. Dairy products, which are seeing a boom in popularity across the globe, are selling for a high price, depending on the type of cheese and cheese quality. 

Dutch cheeses can be sold for 100 to 150 euros per whole cheese

Thieves in the Netherlands are more frequently targeting cheese shops and dairy farms since quality Dutch cheeses can be sold at such a high price in the current market. "You can easily spend between 100 and 150 euros per whole cheese,” Wim Meure of the Association of Farm Dairy Producers told RTL Nieuws. “It’s been happening more and more in recent years.”

“It is a huge financial drama for cheese farmers,” Meure said. “It will take a year before all customers can be provided with the cheese they want again. For example, an old cheese must be on the shelf for 12 months before it is ready.” Since cheese products take time to mature, it is not fast or easy for farmers and cheese producers to recoup the lost revenue from thefts or burglaries, even with the help of the police.

Seasonal holidays are when cheese thefts hit the hardest

Many cheese farmers and producers sell luxury cheese products during seasonal holidays, such as at Christmas or Easter when many families organise gatherings and dinners. RTL Nieuws spoke to Martijn van der Valk whose cheese shop was robbed just before Easter 2024 - “I had a whole stock for Easter and it was all gone”, Van der Valk explained. 

“Easter days are the same as Christmas, which are peaks in terms of turnover. That compensates for the quiet times around the summer. So I have missed out on a lot of important turnover,” Van der Valk told RTL. “Financially, I am on my way to ruin.” 

To prevent such crimes from occurring, all cheeses in the Netherlands are registered and have numbers that can be used to trace batches back to specific farms and sellers. For this reason, experts think that the cheeses could be being stolen and sold abroad, where such measures cannot be enforced.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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