The Monteverde Cheese Factory has played an integral role in the development of the Monteverde community since the 1950s when a group of American Quakers arrived on the scene and began farming dairy cattle. They opened the factory in 1953, using the milk from their own farms to produce about 10 kg of cheese per day. Within two years, their reach had expanded to nearby, non-Quaker farms, whose milk was used to make an increasing amount of cheese. This was an important step in this rural economy, as it helped generate a living for many of the farmers and families living in the central highlands of Costa Rica.
The company – whose official name is Productores de Monteverde S.A. – now works with over 250 farms and employs over 300 people. Their daily output of cheese is now roughly 1,550 kg.
The first cheese that the factory made which, in fact, was the first pasteurized cheese to be made in all of Costa Rica was a Gouda. Over the last sixty years, the range of cheeses the factory produces has skyrocketed to an astounding 17 different varieties. Their ice cream selection is extensive as well and uses local crops to produce such flavors as coffee,
oconut, mango, orange, and pineapple.
In keeping with the Quaker community’s belief in environmental responsibility, the factory has established an innovative water treatment facility and waste management system which involves extracting the whey by-product and donating it to the local pig farm to be used as food for the pigs.
The cheeses and ice creams produced in Monteverde are now sold all over Costa Rica and exported to several Central American countries as well. Indeed, the Productores de Monteverde S.A. truck is a familiar sight along many Costa Rican highways.
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