Our history

  • Ikona 1865


    BEL was founded in 1865 by Jules Bel, whose first factory for the production of aged cheeses was built in the French town of Orgelet. After his death, the family business was taken over by his son Leon, who after the First World War began producing processed cheese and founded the limited liability company Fromageries Bel.

  • Ikona 1921


    In 1921, Leon Bel patented the La Vache qui rit® cheese (in English known as The Laughing Cow®), which was unique in its form, packaging, and groundbreaking television advertising. BEL’s expansion began in 1929 when the first production plants were built in the UK and Belgium. In addition to international expansion, the product portfolio grew to include Bonbel® and Babybel®.

  • Ikona 1957


    In 1957, Leon Bel’s son-in-law, Robert Fievet, took over the management of the company, remaining as CEO of the company until 1996. Today, the company is managed by Antoine Fievet, Robert’s grandson, and the family tradition continues.

  • 1995

    In 1995, BEL entered the Czech market. On 1 January 1995, the predecessor of BEL Sýry Česko was established as a joint-stock company, since 2005 with all shares owned by the parent company Fromageries Bel.

  • 1902

    The processing of milk into dairy products in Želetava dates back to 1902. About 200 litres of milk were processed daily in the building next to the then brewery.

  • 1907

    In 1907, a dairy cooperative was founded in Želetava. In 1910, the cooperative put into operation a dairy which processed about 1,500 litres of milk per day.

  • 1945

    The dairy was closed and liquidated in 1945. The closure of the dairy was followed in 1953 by the closure of the local brewery as part of the centralisation of the food industry. The dilapidated building was taken over by the management of the national enterprise Mlékařské závody from the town of Moravské Budějovice. The entire brewery was then rebuilt into maturing cellars and a cheese processing plant.

  • 1957

    The cheese factory started production on the current premises in 1957. From the original two packing machines for processed cheese, further modernisation and expansion made the company Želetavská sýrárna one of the largest and most modern dairy businesses in the Czech Republic in terms of capacity, production and quality of its products.

  • 1995

    On 1 January 1995, Želetavská sýrárna became a joint-stock company.