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"The British Farmer and his Competitors " ib the title of a book which has recently been published by Mr W. B. Bear, a well-known authority on British agriculture, from which full and interesting extracts are given m the columns of the Otago Witness " of the 4th inst., whereof we avail ourselves to lay before thoss our of readers who are interested m farming pursuits some particulars which have a direct bearing upon the proposal to establish a Farmers' Co-operative Association for the Ashburton district. In a chapter treating of " The Farmer's share of his own produce," Mr Bear showa that, according to the estimates of Mr James Howard, the total amount annually paid by consumers for the farm produce of the JJnited Kingdom is £320,660,955, while the total amount received by the farmers for the game produce is oply £207,038,567. The difference between these two sums is upwards of £113,000,000, or more than 33 per cent, of the gross proceeds, which it is asserted " is swallowed up by the middlemen m merely turning over the produce from one to another, as the above estimate of the price paid by consumers does not include the cost of manufacture of wool, hides, fla^, barley, etc." We have not Mr Bear's book before us, and are unable to gather from the extraots supplied by the "Witness" whether allowance js made for freight and carriage, . and if this is not the case then tome considerable amount must be deducted from the above-stated £113,000,000. Even then, however, there is still a very large margin between the price obtained by the farmer and the price paid by the consumer. Mr Bear contends that the only yin which to reduce that margin, and to secure to the farmer a greater share of the ultimate price of his own produce, IB by a system of co-operation. He advises that cp-operation for the purchase of what the farmers require ghould go hand m hand with co-operation, for the disposal of what they have to sell, and asserts that there are hundreds — nay thousands — living upon the farmer and deriving greater profit from the produce than the producers themselves." He, however, admits that " there must be some distributing middlemen," but thinks that " one probably would be sufficient where there are a hundred now." That, however, m our own opinion is altogether too sweeping, for if 99 per cent, of all who stand between the producer and the consumer were to disappear there would speedily cease to be any consumers expopt beyond seas. The truth lies, as usual, between two extremes. There may be, and doubtless are, m some instances too many intermediates between the farmer and his ultimate customers, but on the other hand the principle of co-operation may be pushed altogether too far, and any co-operative organisation which aims at crowding out all retail tradesmen and reducing Society to the four classes of wealthy non workers, farmers, artisans, and farm laborers, aims really at th.c starving out of other classes who are now among the largest consumers of farm produce, and who form a large proportion of the farmers' best customers. It is to be hoped that the local Farmers' Association will avoid this mistake, and not attempt to dabble too much m general business. There is room and scope for its operations, if legitimately conducted, but if these are cast upon wrong lines then those operations will be productive of evil rather than of good resuits.

Aooording to Phil Robinson before the' Australian oontiogent arrived tho Goldstreamß were tho hardest swearers m camp, but after they oatne " the Coldatreams shut up and used to ' mouoh ' around the camp and listen." The best medicine known is SANDER and SONS' EUCALYPTI EXTRACT. Test its i eminent powerful effects m coughs, colds, I influenza, etc — the relief is instantaneous, ) Thousands give the most gratifying testimony. . Hia Majesty the King of Italy, and medical , syndicates all over the globe, are its patrons. , Read the offioial reports that accompany eaoh t bottle. We have no occasion to offer rewards m proof of the genuineness of our references. ' The offioial reports .of medical clinics and 1 universities, the offioial oommunioation of the • Consul-General for Italy at Melbourne; tho > diploma awarded International Exhibition, ■ Amsterdam— all these are nuthentio doou- > mentß, and, as such, not open to doubt. We I add here epitome of one of the various oases I treated by Siegen, M.D., Professor, eto : ; , Burning of the right hand through the ex» plosion of a small oil stove. The epidermis on the voiar and palmer side of the hand of the thirty-year-old patient was completely ' separated and lifted np aa far as the joint of ' the hand. The likewise lifted nails were hanging loose, and half of the phalanx of the nail of the middle finger was coaled. The ; wounds thus contracted healed m three weeks nnder daily applications of Euoalyptio Extraot dressing. The patient hasjretained the full use of the hand.— (Advt.)j| 1

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Bibliographic details

FARMERS' CO-OPERATION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2033, 10 January 1889

Word Count

FARMERS' CO-OPERATION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2033, 10 January 1889

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