Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood
The New Zealand Farmers' Co-operative Association of Canterbury, Limited, has been in existence about three years. It was started by farmers, to enable them to do their business without the aid and expense of the middleman. The preliminary meeting was held in July, 1881, and the Association was started in September the same year, with 318 members, holding 1786 shares. It now numbers 1150 members, holding 5439 shares of £5 each. The Association has a freehold of four sections, two facing Cashel-street and two in the rear of them fronting Bedford Row, on which has been erected a building providing ample storage and office accommodation. It also leases premises on the railway line and the South Belt, on which is a grain store 150ft. by 70ft., furnished with a grain hoist, a grass cleaning machine, and a 6 h. p. engine. These premises are connected with the Cashel-street offices by means of the Telephone Exchange. A "discount ticket" system has been established, under which shareholders purchasing their requirements at certain shops in Christchurch, with whom arrangements have been made, receive discounts varying from 7½ to 15 per cent on their payments. The Association, as regards the main object for which it was established, has been a marked success. It turned over last year about £90,000, and after paying a dividend of 7 per cent., a considerable sum was put to the Reserve Fund. The management is in the hand of a directory of twenty, elected by and from among the shareholders. The Secretary is Mr. L. C. Williams.