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OUR DAIRY INDUSTRY., Issue 7924, 4 June 1889
OUR DAIRY INDUSTRY.
PROFESSOR LONG’S REPORT.
IFbom the Auckland ‘Herald’s’ London Correspondent, ]
The report upon the above subject, which has just been drawn up and forwarded to the Agent-General by Professor James Long, Is full of interesting and valuable matter, and deserves careful studying by agriculturists in the colony. It covers some fortytwo closely-printed foolscap pages, and it is replete with hints and suggestions worthy of the fullest consideration. In the course of liis remarks the Professor endeavors to point out how the colonial dairy produce can be more economically made, more perfectly shipped, and more profitably sold in this country. The colonial farmer, he admits, has to contend against great difficulties, the chief of which are the great length of time of transit and the consequent risk of deterioration in the quality of butter and cheese shipped, and Continental, American, and Canadian competition. The difficulties of successful shipment, he believes, will be ultimately overcome, so that New Zealand butter may be landed in London as tine in flavor as the best products of France and Denmark ; but the rivalry of these two countries will continue to prevent the receipt of very high prices. The New Zealand climate and herbage, howevfer, render the colony a formidable antagonist, Inasmuch as butter can be produced not only cheaper in the summer, but also cheaper in the winter than in a European country. This fact is of great importance, for it tends to place the colonial farmer upon a very close level with the French and Danish farmers as a producer for the English market.
With regard to the question of manufacture, the Professor believes it will be found that there is much yet to be learned both in oheese and butter-making. To attain the most profitable results there is no doubt that the farmer will have to further improve his cattle, and feed them with the utmost care ; while the dairyman will see the necessity of using every means which science and practice afford to enable him to extract all the cream from the milk and all the batter from the cream, as well as to make, salt, pack, and ship the butter in the most perfect manner. With regard to cheese the case is not so immediately hopeful. Professor Long has been unable to find, either in the various reports with which he has been furnished from different sources, or in the samples of cheese he has examined, or in the evidence of gentlemen employed in London in tie New Zealand trade, that the highest class of Cheddar cheese is really made in the colony to any extent, To make such cheese and ship it successfully is vitally important, for success cannot be attained by any other means. He believes that if two or three expert makers were sent to New Zealand with the object of giving lessons in the farmhouses, dairies, and factories, showing by actual demonstration how the work should be done, and, at the same time, explaining the reasons for each process, and showing in
plan has succeeded in Scotland, and many prize-takers owe their entire success to a short course of practical instruction, Ihe first point would be to make a cheese properly : the second, to ascertain the best mode of shipping it with success, lie recommends that the Government should undertake both matters, the provision ol teachers and a series of simple experiments in the transmission of butter and cheese of various ages, packed in different ways, and shipped in rooms at different temperatures, in accordance with suggestions which he subsequently throws He oilers to undertake to obtain the assistance of two or three experts with the view of meeting consignments of this kind, and of both testin„ and valuing each sample. Although butter and Ghcddai clictsc aio the staple dairy produce of the colony, I rofessor Long believes that any stimulus given to subsidiary industries, such as condensed milk and cheese of other varieties, will be well rewarded in time. A certain « un J^ ' of makers, possibly few, would be induced to commence, and in such a country they would be the pioneers overcoming diflienlties and laying the foundation of other branches of dairying, which would not only relieve the great’ tatter ..d Cheddar chee.e producers, but probably net greater profits than are now obtained by the manufacture of those goods. He also thinks that much might be done, and at a comparatively small cost, by the purchase of stock dairy cattle in England for the use of the New Zealand farmer, and by the establishment of an experiment station. The dairy farmers of the Continent have received immense benefit from the experiment station. It has solved many a problem and unravelled many a difficult question which had been a source of unceasicg loss. He offers, if necessary, to forward plans and descriptions of the best of these stations, which are conducted at a cost of merely a few hundred pounds per annum. Lastly he recommends the opening m this country of shops for the sale of New Zealand dairy produce. Danish shops for the like purpose have been opened in all parts ot this country and are increasing and thriving, and he sees no reason why New Zealand shops should not do the same. The Professor then proceeds to give a number of detailed suggestions in regard to butter and cheese-making, to which, ot course, I can only make the briefest allusion in the space at my disposal. The surest method of making a sample butter of high quality, and one that will keep, as well as butter can keep under such conditions as those imposed by refrigeration, until its arrival in the English market, is to rigidly carry out a system of washing the fine grains of butter in the churn with pure cold water. In regard to the manufacture of condensed milk, he considers that there is yet a great deal to be learned in the colony. Last winter lie received a sample of New Zealand condensed milk, which, although perfectly wholesome and agreeable to the taste, was certainly not marketable in England. _ It was solid and gelatinous instead of being creamy ana liquid. He considered there is every reason why this industry should become a paying one, because in New Zealand the maker of condensed milk has the advantage of being able to purchase his milk at a much lower price than is possible in England, and indeed at a lower price than is now paid to the Swiss farmer. It is true that the cost of sugar is dearer there than in England, but this difficulty might be met by the Government allowing a drawback upon tfn and sugar, as is done in the United States. In regard to the manufacture of Cheddar cheese, which is the variety most in demand in this country, he finds it difficult to describe the exact nature of the article required by the British cheese merchant, and therefore proposes that samples, not only of Cheddar, but of other varieties of cheese, such as Stilton and Gongonzola, should be sent out to New Zealand in order to convey more accurate information to those who are engaged in the industry, and who will be able to examine them and form their own judgment. He strongly recommends New Zealand farmers to try their hands at Stilton cheese, and has little doubt that it could be made in the colony quite easily as in Leicestershire, and he entertains the same opinion in respect to Gongonzola. An important part of the report sets out the opinions upon New Zealand dairy produce of the various agents for the colony in this country. Professor Long quotes the views of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency, Messrs Samuel Page and Sons, Messrs Reynolds, Sons, and Co., Messrs Thomas Nesbitt and Co,, Messrs Wheeler, Bennet, and Co., Mr W. Hart, of Birmingham; Messrs W. A. Watkins and Co., of Birmingham; and Messrs Crowson, a leading firm of cheese factors. The points chiefly insisted upon by these gentlemen are uniformity of quality, color, packing, and weight, and in the case of the cheese uniformity of size. They give it as their opinion that the colonists have made great strides in the direction of improvement, though much remains to be done. They recommend that the butter should be sent in refrigerators, and the cheese in cool chambers. One of the dealers says that New Zealand cheese is often sold as American. Professor Long lays great stress upon the necessity of improving the quality of the colonial cattle, and he is of opinion that the Government of the could do no greater service to the agricultural community than to purchase a small number of carefully selected animals of the dairy Shorthorn and the Ayrshire breeds, for the purpose of improving the milking properties of New Zealand cattle.
OUR DAIRY INDUSTRY., Issue 7924, 4 June 1889
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