Though Campina has been a household name for more than 20 centuries, the Campina dairy co-operative is not that old. It was founded in 1989, but has a long history of mergers and takeovers as is characteristic of this sector in Northwest Europe.
The first dairy co-operatives were established by dairy farmers in the Netherlands at the end of the nineteenth century. They were mainly formed to counter the market power of large compa-nies and traders, as a way for dairy farmers to bundle their interests by jointly taking up the processing and sales of their milk and dairy products.
Over time, the small village co-operatives merged to form regionally operating co-operative ventures. In this way the DMV Campina co-operative came into being in the south of the Netherlands and the Melkunie Holland co-operative in the west. These two merged to become Campina Melkunie. In the meantime the company has continued to grow by national and international takeovers.