Butter Marketing Regulations 1937 Introduced
In 1937 the operations of D.P.A. were superseded by “The Butter Marketing Regulations” and the local sales premiums previously collected by the D.P.A. for the benefit of the Dairy Producers in its area then became payable to the Government’s Marketing Department. It has been said that the Government Local Marketing Regulations were patterned on the D.P.A.’s plan. (See Addendum, page 14.)
It was indeed fortunate that the services of Mr. J. W. McConnon with his wide experience and special knowledge were secured by the Government in the introduction of its local marketing policy in 1937.
The Local Market regulations applied only to the Wellington/Hawke’s Bay Provinces; the remainder of the Dominion being exempt until a year later. Because of that fact, the D.P.A. in 1938 claimed and successfully recovered from the Government Marketing Department the sum of £18,955 which amount the D.P.A. distributed pro rata to member Butter Companies for the 1937/38 Season.
D.P.A. went into Recess for Seven Years
In the following year it was a question as to whether or not the D.P.A. should be wound up. Its member Companies decided to leave the Company intact as an organisation for the co-ordination of Butter manufacturing units in its area. The Company went into recess as an operating unit for the following seven years; the Directors and Secretary giving their services gratis in that period.
In March 1946 the Dominion Producers’ Co-operative Agency Ltd. was reconstructed to acquire for producers sole distributing rights of butter and eggs in the City of Wellington. (See Addendum, page 14.)
Formation of First Farm Products Company
During the period the D.P.A. was in recess much was happening in the Southern half of the North Island, and also in the Nelson and Westland Districts in regard to the method of handling and distribution of butter, eggs and other allied farm produce.
The Butter Companies in the Hawke’s Bay District were dissatisfied with the method of distribution of their produce by competitive merchant interests. Under the leadership of Mr. D. G. Begley, Chairman of The Heretaunga Co-operative Dairy Company Ltd., the five butter Companies, namely, United, Tamaki, Norsewood, Heretaunga and Wairoa, decided to form their own Co-operative Marketing Company to handle and distribute the butter of their respective factories, along with other farm products including eggs, bacon and the like.
Producers engaged in the kindred industries of Pig-Raising and Poultry Farming were invited to join forces in the one co-operative organisation for more efficient and economical delivery of their produce to the retail trade. Fortunately, Pig Producers already possessed a Co-operative Company in The New Zealand Co-operative Pig Marketing Association Ltd., and were able to link up immediately through that organisation with the five butter companies in the formation of “The Hawke’s Bay Co-operative Farm Products Ltd.” (since changed to “Farm Products Co-operative (Hawke’s Bay) Limited”). Subsequently, the poultry producers formed themselves into “The Hawke’s Bay Co-operative Poultry Producers Limited” allying themselves with the Farm Products movement, and so the first Producer-Co-operative-marketing Company operated for the benefit of those engaged in Dairying, Poultry Farming and Pig-Raising was formed.
This was indeed a courageous step and certainly required the fortitude of the stout hearts of the Chairman and Directors of the five member Dairy Companies who, under the inspiring and able guidance of their leader, Mr. D. G. Begley, and imbued with the principle of the right of producers to distribute their produce from farm and factory to shop counter, eventually overcame opposing interests and successfully won the day.
If ever the co-operative spirit were put to the test, it certainly had one of its severest trials in the initial stages of the Farm Products Company in Hawke’s Bay. To realise this one must try and recapture the tense atmosphere at that time, caused by the static from opposing commercial interests.
So the good ship “Farm Products Hawke’s Bay,” carrying the flag of Producer-Co-operative-marketing, and piloted by an intrepid skipper, was launched upon the sea of Commerce in 1937 and after weathering quite a few storms, reached safe anchorage on her maiden voyage at the end of the first twelve months, thereby proving to her builders that her construction was sound and absolutely seaworthy. Since then the annual voyages have been successfully sailed to the full satisfaction of her producer-owners.
Other Districts Followed Hawke’s Bay
MANAWATU. The operations of the Hawke’s Bay Company were watched with the greatest interest by Directors of Dairy Companies in neighbouring districts, and after a period of a further four were the Butter Companies in the Manawatu District were the first to follow. In March 1942 they formed “Farm Products Co-operative Manawatu Ltd.,” as a service company for the wholesale distribution of butter and other allied produce in that area.
WESTLAND. In 1942 the Co-operative Dairy Companies in South Westland decided to undertake the wholesale distribution of butter within the Westland Districts through their own Co-operative Local