Although the company regards 1964 as the year of its establishment, as this was when the first large-scale Lithuanian cheese production plant was built in the town of Rokiškis, another date is also significant in the history of the enterprise – 1925, when the current company’s predecessor – Rokiškis cooperative dairy – was established in a building of the Rokiškis estate, owned by Count Jonas Pšezdzieckis. The then-dairy had a separator of 1000-litre per hour capacity and a 2000-litre container for making butter. The engines were powered by steam. The major production of this little factory was butter, most of which was exported. During the years after WWII, i.e. around 1957-1960, after reconstruction and the installation of electricity-powered equipment, the production of fat-free cheeses and casein began.
In 1964, construction of a new cheese factory in Rokiškis started. The first products that came out in February 1966 were butter, scalded milk, curd and sour cream. The range of goods was varied. The amount of milk purchased then reached about 40-60 thousand tonnes per year, i.e. 6-7 times less than nowadays. Rokiškis supplied dairy products not only to vast Russia, but also to other countries.
In 1991, privatisation of the state company Rokiškio sūrių gamykla started. The market economy conquered socialist economy. Times changed, yet it seems that subconscious entrepreneurship had finally found its way out and gained momentum. The market economy did not disturb the company’s activities – on the contrary – it provided the possibility to become the strongest company in Lithuania and all of the Baltic States. Rokiškio sūris made its way to western markets, where quality requirements were much higher; therefore the company invested a considerable amount of its profit in new technologies.
February 27, 1992, the joint stock company Rokiškio sūris was registered. Initial shareholders were the company’s employees. In 1994, the enterprise welcomed its first foreign investors. In 1997, foreign capital investment reached USD 2 million. In 1999, EBRD together with the Bank of Bermuda invested LTL 40 million (EUR 11.5 million). Foreign investors have not only added to the company’s capital, but also helped to form the western attitude of staff towards work.
During that period the enterprise improved its position in the local market and ensured an uninterrupted supply of raw materials as well as acquiring smaller Lithuanian milk processing companies: Utenos pienas and the dairies at Zarasai, Ukmergės, Šalčininkai, Eišiškės, Varėna, Ignalina, Jonava and Švenčioniai. Currently Rokiškio sūris AB group encompasses three production sites located in the towns of Rokiškis, Utena and Ukmergė.