This award is granted only to products that have received three stars during blind-tasting 3 years in a row with a score of 90% or above. On 2 June 2016 the company received a confirmation from the International Taste & Quality Institute in Brussels that the taste and quality of Džiugas Gourmet hard cheese, matured for 36 months, received the highest Crystal Taste Award.
Following Innovations. Žemaitijos Pienas has once again proven its mastery by presenting the dairy marked with the first kefir shake.
In 2013 after the German Chancellor Angela Merkel won the elections for the third time, our President Dalia Grybauskaitė congratulated her with her victory by presenting a wheel of Džiugas cheese, which has won the hearts of both Lithuanian and EU citizens with its taste.
As a tradition, during children's christening celebration Samogitians used to mark a loaf of cheese and leave it to mature for 3-4 years. That symbolised the first years, when the child requires especially lots of love and care. On 10 July 2010 His Excellency President Valdas Adamkus and the First Lady Alma Adamkienė became as if the "godparents" of Džiugas cheese by signing on its "birth certificate" and marking three wheels of cheese with a special stamp.
Sometimes ideas of new products come without even thinking – in 2006 Žemaitijos Pienas announced a children's drawing competition, called "The Spring of a Happy Cow". The results of the competition were so inspiring that in 2007 the company started a new line of DOBILAS organic products.
As Lithuania became a member of the European Union, 2004 marked the beginning of a new strategy for Žemaitijos Pienas. Already two years later Žemaitijos Pienas' laboratory became the first in Lithuania to receive the German DAkkS certificate according to international LST ISO/IEC 17025 standards.
Taking the lead again, Žemaitijos Pienas was the first in Lithuania to start producing cheese strings. This product was developed for children, who love to have fun tearing them apart while eating. They made eating a fun game for both young and old.
Žemaitijos Pienas is in the lead again. In 1997 the company was the first in Lithuania to implement and introduce the high-end Bactocatch milk cleaning technology. It helps to rid the milk of all harmful bacteria, preserving its valuable nutrients. Thus, the milk stays "alive".
1995 was an abundant year for Žemaitijos Pienas, which saw a 30% increase in processed milk, the beginning of producing Jovaras, Pagrandukas, Sodžius and the knot-like Verpstė cheese, which was awarded with a golden medal at AgroBalt96 exhibition. However, the major event of the year was the permission of the State Food and Veterinary Service of the Republic of Lithuania to start exporting goods to the European Union countries.
Lithuanian independence brought cardinal changes. The escape from the Soviet Union was followed by the creation and development of the Lithuanian milk market. During the privatisation of 1993 Telšiai Cheese Factory was merged with Plungė and Laukuva dairies, thus becoming AB Žemaitijos Pienas on 23 June.
We were the first in Lithuania to start producing chocolate-coated cottage cheese desserts according to MAGIJA TI-17-3 technology. This innovative product has been among the most popular desserts in Lithuania for the last 30 years. That was the beginning of the Lithuanian favourite – MAGIJA curd snack.
GOUDA semi-hard cheese is regarded as one of the oldest and most popular cheeses in the world. Historical sources mention it since the 12th c., while the Lithuanian Germantas GOUDA cheese has been produced since 1985.
With increasing population and growing farms, the factory worked 24/7 and eventually felt a lack in capacity. Therefore, July of 1981 marked the introduction of plans for a new modern cheese factory. The construction took place until 1984. After its completion, the factory was geared with the most advanced equipment, brought from Hungary, the GDR and Czechoslovakia. Telšiai Cheese Factory became the largest in the Baltic States.
The legendary RAMBYNAS cheese was first made in 1967. Eventually it not only became a favourite in its homeland, but also a star of international fairs in Denmark, Zagreb, Leipzig, Paris and Vienna, bringing back numerous awards.
Collective farms, formed of peasant farms, as well as soviet farms eventually grew stronger. Thus, the dairy had to keep up with their growth too. It was decided to expand it and reconstruct the facilities, which involved getting rid of the old transmissions, electrification of the entire dairy and the construction of a new administrative building.
The dairy suspended its activity for the first time in history. In order to prevent retreating Germans from taking or damaging the dairy equipment, they were secretly taken out of Telšiai. After the Germans retreated, all equipment was reinstalled and the dairy continued its work.
The Beginning of Žemaitijos Pienas
According to archives, the beginning of Žemaitijos Pienas dates back to 1924. That year Telšiai, the Samogitian capital (according to a legend, founded on the seven-hill giant DŽIUGAS), opened Telšiai Dairy. Its capacity was rather high back in the day, producing DŽIUGAS hard cheese, butter, cottage cheese, sweet cream and even whey champagne. The products used to be kept in the cold using ice, taken from the lake during winter, kept in the yard and protected from melting by sawdust.