The Ashburton Guardian. SATURDAY FEBRURAY, 2 6, 1881. The Heat Question.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 6 p.m.]
Since the first mooting of the Strathleven experiment there has been an ever-increasing interest attaching to the subject of exporting frozen meat from / the Australian colonies and New Zea.
land to Great Britain. When it was first suggested to send meat Home by the Bell-Coleman process, farmers indulged in much the same sort of smile that crosses their countenances when they read a “ steep ” American yarn; but as the Strathleven experiment took shape, the smile toned down, and finally disappeared before the pronounced success that experiment ultitimately became. The prices realised for the Strathleven beef and mutton ranged from rod to per lb, and the average prices were per lb for mutton, and 5d for beef. The shipment consisted of 36,459 lbs weight of beef, and 19,635 lbs weight of mutton. Of this quantity 25 sheep carcases were distributed in London as presents, also 926 lbs of beef. Then there was a very large quantity too that was used on the voyage—more, however, for testing the meat’s condition than otherwise—and when all this is taken into consideration it will be easily seen that, the machinery once provided, a large margin of profit would be left to shippers, after
bearing all expenses. There was a deficiency of only Ll 5 17s. 3d. on the whole Strathleven experiment, and this with die large quantity of gift meat, and the heavy preliminary expenses, that would not occur in a second shipment, would very soon turn into a handsome surplus. We thought for a time that the meat export question was to be allowed to lie dormant, as nobody seemed to care to take direct action. It seemed as if those most interested in taking advantage of the knowledge supplied by the Strathleven venture had become so glamored and paralysed by its greatness that they were unable to turn it to practical use, but sat down viewing its grandeur with rapt but purposeless admiration. We are glad to be disabused of this idea, and to notice that New Zealand means to put on her working apron in earnest. From enterprising Dunedin we used to hear now and again the boom of what was to be done —and Canterbury made some stir at her meetings of farmers—but nothing resulted. Now, however, Oamaru means business and has begun. A company is in course of formation there to send frozen meat to the great London markets. Their operations will not be on the most extensive scale, but it will be sufficient, we think to draw off as much meat as the district can spare for the next year or so, and until stock raising can be more extensively engaged in than it is. The capital will be only —the half of which will be contributed in cash, the remainder in stock by the members of the Association. Suitable freezing accommodation will be provided at the Oamaru wharf, and the meat is proposed to be killed on the stations and sent in carcases to the port. The company means to procure machinery in London, and an expert to manage the concern, opening proceedings by utilising sailing vessels instead of large steamers. W r e wish the undertaking the success we feel confident it will command, and we only wish that similar companies were at work in every agricultural centre. At present we fear stock-raising has not been engaged in sufficiently to supply a company in every county; but the farmers are everywhere taking stock raising in hand far more than they used to do, and with the advantages that we now possess, and which will, before the year is out, be very largely increased, there is every probability, should a regular trade in frozen meat be established, that the supply will keep up to the demand. The millions of mouths to fill in England will always afford a market for our meat, and we have no idea that the trade would ever prove an unprofitable one. Besides the trade need not be limited to meat alone—the Protos experiment, tried since the Strathleven’s success, shows that butter and other dairy produce can be carried with equal safety and profit; but to this phase of the question of export we will return on a future occasion.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 279, 26 February 1881
The Ashburton Guardian. SATURDAY FEBRURAY, 26, 1881. The Heat Question. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 279, 26 February 1881
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