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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62

Dairy Produce

page 9

Dairy Produce.

Butter has always held an important position among the productions of the New Zealand small farmer, but made by different persons and in different ways, it has not been generally suitable for the requirements of the English market, although considerable quantities have been exported to Australia and also to the United Kingdom; but the success attending the efforts made to produce butter of uniform superior character in dairy factories, and the fairly remunerative prices that have been realised for such butter in England, have caused great attention to be given to the increase of dairy factories for the purpose of supplying produce for the English market.

It is only in census years that any returns are obtained of the quantity of butter and cheese annually produced in the colony, and the returns then given by farmers can only be deemed to be estimates, as the majority of them do not keep accounts of their production.

The following are the results of the returns made in the census years mentioned. The numbers represent the quantities produced in the preceding years:—
Annual Production of Cheese and Butter.
Cheese. Butter.
lb. lb.
Census year, 1881 3,178,694 8,453,815
Census year, 1886 4,594,795 12,170,964
Census year, 1891 6,975,698 16,310,012

The figures for 1891 include 1,909,759 lbs. of butter and 4,390,400 lbs. of cheese made in factories. During the winter of the present year, a considerably increased supply of New Zealand dairy produce has been placed on the London markets. The quality has been good and the prices obtained such as will pay the producer, thereby giving the necessary stimulus to increased production. New Zealand gives no bonus on butter export as do the colonies of Victoria and New South Wales. With the large and certain market in this country, the colony offers great inducements for capitalists with the necessary knowledge to largely extend this industry.