The idea for the company we know today as Meesters van de Halm (Masters of the Grain) originated in the 1950s, way before responsibly produced organic food became fashionable. It was, however, at that time that our company’s founder Harrie van Grinsven became convinced as a young man that people had to live in harmony with the environment.
Harrie van Grinsven grew up on a farm and became acquainted with the business world when he started working for a pharmaceutical company. Later, he worked for a large food company and the more experience he gained, the more he became convinced that he wanted to make something that was transparently honest and pure. Something that would be good for people and the environment.
In the beginning of the 1970s, Harrie came into contact with more and more people who shared his vision of the world. One of them was Bert van den Berg, the grandfather of Rob van den Berg (co-owner of Meesters van de Halm). Together with him and various other like-minded people, including several college professors, he helped set up an organic gardening association, which, via various detours, went on to become today’s company. At the end of the 1970s, Harrie officially founded our organic mill and called it De Halm, and it has been at the forefront of the organic food revolution in the Netherlands ever since.
Today’s company still operates in accordance with the original founder’s philosophy: respect for people and the environment. For us, respect for the environment means working as sustainably as possible. We do this for example by buying energy from Dutch wind farms, reusing heat from our processing and giving residual waste flows a second life in the form of fodder for goats or raw materials for generating green electricity.
All our cereals are grown in the Netherlands, unless this is not possible as is the case with rice, millet, buckwheat and amaranth, and provided sufficient quantities are available. For the cultivation of cereals, we still have to depend on Mother Nature. This is why we are always looking for Dutch organic farmers who are willing to become our long-term partners. Using Dutch cereals as much as possible helps us minimise our carbon footprint (for example, by reducing the number transport movements) and enables us to support and keep organic agriculture viable in the Netherlands. All the cereals used by Meesters van de Halm also meet our strict quality requirements.