|During the period 1880 - 1905
had to cope with a severe crisis and it was only as from 1900 that the
situation gradually improved. Apart from England, also Germany became
important market for the Frysian dairy industry. On May 5, 1891 a gathering
at the inn of mr. Stroosma at Marrum in order to establish the first
dairy factory of Ferwerderadeel. That same year the order to built the
factory was granted to Jan Dijkstra for the sum of 14,860 guilders. The
“molkfabryk” -as it eventually became known- was built on a suitable
close to the canal and near the road to Westernijkerk. A few years
two other co-operations were established which built factories in
The annual report of the
Marrum. Financial year May 12, 1908 - May 12, 1909” gives a nice
of the dairy industry in those years:
After a brief introduction, the list of
was mentioned as well as the number of cows that they owned and the
of related votes. That year the Co-operation had 99 members with a
of 1274 cows while almost 100 hundred non-members supplied milk of abt.
350 cows. The members came from the towns of Blija, Genum,
Hallum. Hogebeintum, Marrum and Westernijkerk. The largest farmer
28 cows which was good for 3 votes in the Co-opereation. This was A.
Dijk from Hogebeintum. The least member, E. Broersma from Ferwerd, had
3 cows which gave him the right to 1 vote.
The board of directors of the company was
represented by D.Y. van der Werff, D.J. van der Mey, K. de Groot and C.
Meekma while the overall supervison was the responsibility of T.W.
F.J. Stienstra, S. Roeda and G. Dijkstra.
On May 12, 1909 the
“molkfabryk” had the
personnel on it’s pay-roll:
- Milk quality
per year incl. a house
14.00 per week
12.50 per week incl. a house
11.50 per week incl. a house
9.50 per week incl. a
8.50 per week incl. a
8.50 per week incl. a
11.50 per week
10.50 per week
9.50 per week
9.00 per week
7.50 per week
The personnel had a day off
every 10 days
on Sundays two of them didn't have to work. That year the company paid
fl. 9786.50 on wages, handled 5,677,703 kilogrammes of milk and had a
of 298,195.11 guilders. However, no matter how pleased the members were
with the good results, also in 1909 there was already a familiar
polution. Something had to happen: “With the Department of Health it
deliberated how to cope with the polution of the ditches by
In order to improve this situation attempts will be made to pump the
water into the canal by means of the Ferwerd polder-windmill”.
In 1909 director U. Kooistra
the annual report he had written a word of farewell.
A few quotes:
“ Since more than 12 ½ years I have
worked at the factory and those years were very important to
in general and the dairy industry in particular. After many years of
we have better times now”. Mr. Kooistra continued by giving an overview
of the big changes that had occurred in the production of butter and
the purchase of new equipment such as machines and the necessity to
by means of new buildings. But above all he emphasized the “most
co-operation of both the Board and Supervisory Board as the members of
In little over 10 years the production of
milk had increased with ca. 3 million kilogramme whereas the
of milk went up no less than 1 cent per kg the past year. Let there be
no mistake about it: this is all encouraging to both farmers as the
Also mr. Kooistra stipulated the personal importance of membership of
company using words like “co-ownership, communal sense, solidarity and
solid income”. Yet, the meetings of the members could be attended much,
much better! Mr. Kooistra rubbed it in: “It is every member’s duty to
the meetings even if not much of importance is on the agenda. A
meeting is important in itself: one learns the way things go, thus
to know the Co-operation. It is not good if one stays away when pleased
with the company’s profit or having so-called confidence in the Board.
He who is not informed, is not qualified to judge”.
In 1916 Marrum had a big feast on
of the 25th anniversary of the factory whereas on March 27, 1941 at 3
the “Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the dairy factory Marrum to
Westernijkerk” took place.
However, due to competition of larger dairy
companies the factory had to close in 1979 which caused quite a lot of
commotion in Marrum. The loss of jobs along with the consequence of
families leaving town was hard to accept. These feelings were a.o.
by placing an obituary in the Leeuwarder Courant:
passed away my
age of 88 years
born at Nijkerk
last known as
him have peace of mind.
Annual report of the
Stoomzuivelfabriek Marrum 1908-1909”.