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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

The New Zealand Farmers' Cooperative Association Of Canterbury, Limited

The New Zealand Farmers' Cooperative Association Of Canterbury, Limited. Directors, 1901: Messrs F. D. S. Neave, chairman; D. McMillan, vice-chairman; S. Bailey, R. Blunden, W. Boag, F. H. Brittan, D. Buddo, S. Chapman, C. H. Ensor, J. Gough, J. Haydon, E. Herring, J. Holmes, W. Henderson, J. J. Herrick, H. A. Knight, R. Morrish, H. Overton, H. W. Peryman, J. Rennie. Head offices and warehouses: Cashel Street, Christchurch. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. London office, 110 Fenchurch Street, E.C. Sydney office, Sussex Street. Branches, Ashburton and Auckland. Mr. Robert Hardie, Secretary and General Manager. Solicitors: Messrs Maude and Harman, Hereford Street, Christchurch. This prosperous co-operative business, which was established in 1881, has attained a premier position, not only in New Zealand, but throughout Australasia. Its subscribed capital amounts to £164,837, of which £64,072 is paid up, and it has already accumulated a reserve fund of £26,592. Some idea of the progress of the association may be gleaned from a comparison of figures. In 1883 there were 1076 shareholders, holding 5217 shares. This had increased in 1901 to 3372 shareholders holding 29,917 shares, and at the time of writing this has further increased to 3576 shareholders holding 33,001 shares. The business of the association had similarly increased; thus in 1883 the total sales amounted to £27,400, whereas in 1901 they reached £178,116. The quantity of wool sold locally by the association in the season of 1885–6 was only 470 bales, while in the season 1900–1 the sales amounted to 7198 bales. The objects of the Farmers' Co-operative Association of Canterbury are to afford facilities to farmers for realising in the local, Australian, or English markets, the best possible price on their produce of wool, grain, frozen meat, hides, and skins, at the lowest possible rate of expense by way of commission and charges, and to supply from all parts of the world goods of all kinds required by farmers, at the most advantageous prices and of the best quality. The essential feature of the association is that members should furnish the capital, and thus reap the advantages derived from its use by becoming their own customers, without the expense of elaborate premises in expensive thoroughfares, the outlay of advertising, and the expense of travellers. Such has been the success of the society that it became necessary to open branches in Sydney and Auckland; and also, in 1896, to establish an office in London, which is now under the management of Mr. C. H. Inglis, who devotes the whole of his time and energies to the interests of New Zealand farmers. Regarding the profits of the association, it may be noted that merchandise profits are divided annually amongst shareholders in proportion to the business done; and a large percentage on the amount of commission earned, which is fixed at the lowest possible scale, is rebated to sellers of grain, wool, etc. The company also acts as a banker for many of its shareholders, and allows interest on daily credit balances. Advances are made on grown crops and wool clips, and no charge whatever is made for commission, interest only being charged at the current rates. Arrangements exist for executing indents of special goods, machinery of all kinds, and live stock, on the most favcurable terms. Liberal cash advances, free of interest or commission, and subject only to current rates of exchange, are made on shipments when desired. It may be noted that the company has made special arrangements for the conduct of local wool sales, and the large increase in the quantity offered in the local market affords conclusive [gap — reason: illegible] that wool-growers appreciate the efforts made by the association. The English manufacturers through their colonial representatives are large purchasers at these sales, and it is more than probable that greater attention will in future be given to colonial sales, for the purpose of which the association has secured a very fine store on the South Belt; the building is splendidly lighted, and has a floor space of over 35,000 square feet. Regular sales are held during the season, in the months of November, December, January, and February. In the live stock department sales are held during the year both by private treaty and public auction, and ample paddocking accommodation for stock is available in connection with this department, which is under the control of a competent officer. The society carries on the business of baconcuring, and large numbers of pigs are cured with most satisfactory results, the quality being pronounced by experts as excellent. The premises of the New Zealand Farmers' Co-operative Association of Canterbury. Limited, in Cashel Street, consist of two-storey and three-storey brick buildings, which have been re-arranged so as to afford additional space for the several departments of the business. These departments include grocery, perfumery, patent medicines, brushware, earthenware, glassware, stationery, hardware, saddlery, seeds of all kinds, Drapery, dresses, Manchester goods, carpets, floor cloths, dressmaking, tailoring, boots and shoes; in fact, almost everything from a needle to an anchor. Adjoining the company's railway siding on the South Belt, a large stock of Newcastle, Westport, and other coals, as well as firewood, is kept on hand on hand for the supply of shareholders, either in small quantities or in lots of four or five tons from the ship's side. In connection with wool shipments, the association has a very complete hydraulic dumping plant in full operation at the South Belt stores, and it is a distinct advantage to shareholders to have their wool dumped under the direct supervision of the association. For some years past the association has paid regular dividends at the rate of 6 per cent per annum, and bonuses of from 3 to 4 per cent to shareholders on their capital and on purchases of merchandise. An annual circular and price list is issued to subscribers, giving some idea of the operations of the association, together with its balance-sheet, the report of its annual meeting, the prices of goods kept in stock, and a great deal of general information which is useful to farmers and graziers.