The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]
Green, T. H., and Co.
Green, T. H., and Co., Ham and Bacon Curers, Christchurch. This business was founded by the late Mr. Thomas Hillier Green in 1862, and has expanded with the progress of the colony until it is now the premier curing-house in New Zealand. The business was formerly carried on in the city, but in 1882 the present extensive premises were erected on the main south railway line, midway between Addington and Middleton. The works comprise a fine two-storied block of brick buildings, which, with the necessary outbuildings, cover almost an acre of ground. The factory is fitted throughout with every appliance and convenience that the extensive trade requires. Forty years have gone by since the establishment of the business, and every labour saving improvement in machinery for bacon curing purposes has been taken advantage of by the firm. An extensive refrigerating plant, erected on the most modern principles, enables Messrs Green and Co. to command a winter climate all the year round, so that curing operations can now be summer on as well by them in the height of summer as in the winter. This is a boon to the Canterbury farmers, as it enables them to dispose of their fat pigs in the summer, which for them is the best time for fattening. The refrigerating machinery is contained in a separate brick building, with the boiler house, also of brick, adjoining. In addition to providing the motive power for the refrigerator page 325 and machinery, the boiler supplies the steam required for pig killing, for rendering the lard and tallow, and heating the two drying rooms, which are provided with centrifugal fans, and the other necessary appliances for expeditiously drying the bacon in damp weather. The pigs are purchased direct from the farmers, and none but prime grain fed hogs are accepted. These are received alive at the works, where they are placed in a series of commodious covered pens and races with paved or concrete floors, which are so arranged that there is a continuous flow of pure artesian water through each pen. The slaughterhouse is a little distance from the main building, and connected with it by an overhead railway. After the pigs are killed the careases are placed in the cooling room, and there cut up into the orthodox sides, flitches, hams, etc. These are then conveyed by tramway to the curing cellars, which are perfectly insulated, and kept at a winter temperature throughout the year. After the meat is salted and passed through the drying rooms it is removed to the smoke house, a large brick building, capable of dealing with 600 sides at one time. Here the curing process is completed. The bacon is then passed to the spacious packing-room on the top floor of the main building, where it is clothed, branded, and packed for export throughout New Zealand, the South Sea Islands, and the Australian colonies, or for delivery to the local markets, where the firm's brand has become a household word, and is a synonym for excellence of quality. The lard house contains jacket-pans, digesters, coolers, and all the plant necessary for rendering hog's fat into lard, which is refined, and put up in the various packages as required by the trade. A great feature of the premises is the cleanliness prevalent in every department. The plant is capable of dealing with 200 pigs a day, and the industry is one of the utmost importance in an agricultural district such as Canterbury. Mr. T. H. Green, the founder of the firm, died in 1890, and from that date the business was conducted by his two sons, Messrs Richard and George A. Green, until the death of the latter in 1901 when Mr. Richard Green, the senior partner, took over the management. Mr. Green has had a long and practical experience, for he was brought up in the industry his father had founded, and he leaves no stone unturned to make his business second to no other of its kind in New Zealand.