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FARMERS MEETING AT CARDIGAN, Important Co-operative j Project. | The gathering of farmers cfl Saturday last at J the Aug el Hotel, Cardigan, on the occasion of a | dinner provided in connection with the third monthly stock sale inaugurated by Messrs T. Havaid and Co., was in every sense a happy one. The day was gioriousb fine for field work on the farm, and this. doubtless, militated against the attendance, but notwithstanding there was a goodly company of substantial farmers and others interested in agricultural pursuits, who were well able to deal with the topic arranged for discussion, viz :—The c-ublishment in Cardigan of a co- operative bacon factory. Capt. Jonas-Parry, of Tyllwyd, witty, wise, and always geoial, presided, and he was supported by the -Itayor of Cardigan, Mr C. Morgan-Richardson, and Clond W. Picton Evans. Amongst the company were MOST? D. 8. Jones, Castle Malgwyn; Hughes, Rhosysader Evans, Llwyndyrus Evans, Trt-cefn; Davies, Trewillim; Griffiths, Hafod Grove; Thomas, Pias; Evans, Glastyr; Lewis, Treprior; Thomas Havard. Penally: D. Ivor Evans, Netpool Farm; J. W. Nicholas, Metropolitan Dank; W. Woodward, auctioneer; Vvr. R. Morgan, auctioneer, See. The Chairman commenced the proceedings with humour. He said he had read Porker's grammar, and also Racon' essay, but those books had not given him invaluable assistance in the matter of establishing a bacon factory (laughter). With this he called upon Mr Morgan Richardson to introduce the subject. !\ir..uore-an mcnaruscn was wen received. He ¡ paid I must congratulate you, sir, upon this our first meeting as a farmers' club in this room. I know it has been a great wish on your part to i collect the farmers together in order to talk over matters which are to them of common interest. I am pleased to see such a good, and representative gathering here to-day, and I think that it is only the. very fine weather which has prevented the attendance of many more, but as a commencement we may be proud of our meeting on this occasion: I must congratulate Mr. Havard upon his enter- prize,ior a great deal is due to his energy and determination in arranging this gatheringand I congratulate him upon the success of his monthly sales, which I believe are going to be of great benefit not only to this town, but to the farmers of the neighbourhood. It is a great thing to know where to send things for sale, and to know where to buy them, and 1 am glad to see the support given to him by the farmers (hear hear). The subject which we have to consider to-day is that of establishing a Jjacon Factory. I do not know why I should have been selected to introduce this subject for there are probably a great many people in this room who know more about it than I do. The solution might b^iound in the situation of my office (laughter). JBs f* as I can see that is the j only reason whyi was selected. The street is called Chancery Lane, but it is better known to the world as Pig Lane (laughter). Because my office is situated in Pig Lane, and because the street is full of fai, pig carts on market day. I am considered qualified to lecture to you upon the establishment of a Bacon Factory, (laughter). Although I am not qualified to address you upon this s'.i')j'«ctt I am bound to say, that I take the deepest interest in it, an interest which dates from the time when sorri# years ago I had to get' rid of a large bacon pig. Now I did not cure my own r bacon, and I found great difficulty in getting of this pig at that | time, i ti-ink there was some reason for this, as swine t'ev--?r had broken out, and the'district was J scheduler. ''hat it was impossible to get the pier away at that time. I can hardly tell you what difficulty I had to find a buyer, although the pig was well ted, and in good condition—in fact there was nothing against the pig, mentally, morally, or physically (laughter). I had positively to' go round each dealer, and touch my hat to him, to try and induce him to buy. Eventually I sold the pig for, I think, 5s. a score. 1 worked that out, and I found that I was getting something like 4 jd. per pound. I looked in my grocers' book and I found that I was paying lid. per pound. It seemed i to me then that there was something radicilly wrong. It was this fact which permeated through my mind, and my seeing that every year we are baying a tremendous quantity of bacon from abroad, bacon which we ought to make and cure at home (hear, hear). I think we are paying in England 10 millions a year for foreign bacon, and no doubt a great deal of that bacon could be made and cured at home. It is true that not only are there lactones in Eng2a<nd making and curing bacon At the present time, bet there are a great many in Denmark, kept up by farmers themselves. In 1887 there were 41 such factories, and at the present time there are 50, kept up entirely by 'farmers for supplying one market only, and that the English market. It is a fact which should come home to us that these factories are being started, and are succeeding, in every part of the South of Ireland. The conditions in Ireland are very much like our own, and I cannot help think- ing that if they can do so- well in Ireland, they ought to succeed in Wales. I know that they have succeeded in Cornwall, where a very good factory coing a large amount of business has been established, and it is not only a financial success, but it is doing an immense deal of good in that immediate neighbourhood. The idea cam to me that what would do in Ireland and Cornwall, would do here, and I think Cardigan well suited, for a variety of reasons, for the establishment of a bacon factory (hear, hear). I think a great point is this: We should get by boat once a week with Bristol, cheap water carriage not only for the bacon which we might cure. but for the offal, which is one of the difficulties to deal with in bacon factories. By means of this boat, which travels week after week to Bristol, we should be in the position of a suburb to that city, for the purposes of the bacon factory. We could take our bacon and step in for an almost nominal price. I think the farmers themselves have considered this sub- ject. I know one farmer, and an intelligent farmer, who is in this room, who when I talked to him some time ago upon this subject said, Well, there seems to be sense in this, and although I have no money to lose, I would nor mind putting P-100 into the concern myself." This shews that the idea has been slowly working itself into the minds of the farmers themselves. There are three points of view from which to discuss the question. First, whether it would be of benefit to the town of Cardigan itself; secondly, whether it would be of benefit to the farmers; and thirdly, whether such a company would be likely to be a financial success. I need say very little about the benefit it would be to the town of Cardigan. That, of course, goes without saying. Starting an important business here would be a very desirable thing to everybody living in the place. It would bring money here, and it would find employment for people existing here; and the circulation of money would benefit the tradesmen and everybody else. I only mention this as it should be used as an inducement to Cardigan people, if we think of starting a factory. To meet us generously on the question of site, and also to assist us in finding the necessary capital. I deal more with the point of the assistance given s to the farmers themselves. This is really the most important poillt of all. I think it would be a good thing for them to find a place at all times of the year where it would be possible for them to sell their pigs at a remunerative price. And this par- ticularly in the case of pigs, jbecause we are so liable in case of swine fever to have the district suddenly scheduled, when the prices of pigs would instantly drop. I do not know anything more fluctuating than the pig. One week you may sell your sucking pig Jfor 21s or 25s and the next you have to touch your cap to the dealer, and beg him to give you 7s 6d. I cannot help thinking that it would be a benefit to the farmers who would always find a certain market at the Factory for their pigs, and n. doubt they would obtain their Id or lid per pound more than they could get at the market, and that on each pig would be an im- j portant consideration. The third point is whether j such a factory would be likely to prove a financial j success. One fact speaks for itself: No- fictory that has ever been started has been a failure. It is almost as different to find a Bacon Factory in liquidations it is to finda butcher in the bankruptcy court (laughter). And practically for the same reason they handle a large proportion of profit at the expense of the farmer. But another proof is the difficulty there is in getting information. It is j certainly proof to me that there is something very good in it, or else they would not be so chary in letting us know how the thing is done. Some two years ago I wrote for permission to go over, the factory at Chippenham. I thought that as m matter of course leave would be granted, but I ( received a letter from the Secretary informing me that a meeting of the Directors had been called. and they gave me warning not to go near their 1 place. They were so anxious to keep the secret of their curing process to themselves. The great point which we have to consider is: What are the re- quirements of a factory. In an article written by a competent authority, a Mr Doiiglas,-who has had more to do with starting factories than any other man in England, tht-y at" started to be (l)a suffici- ent supply of bacon pigs (2) facilities for trans- port (3) a good water supply, and (4) easy access to populous districts, so as to get rid of the offal as produced. First, this merely a question of statistics. We should have to enquire whether a sufficient number of pigs could j be provided to keep the factory going. Secondly, The necessary facilities for transport could be easily arranged. On the one hand we are con- nected with the Great Western Railway, and on the other hand we are connected with Bristol by boat. In this respect there is a little to be desired. Thirdly: The water supply would give us no difficulty. And fourthly We have easy access to populous districts, because we might send the offal and the bacon to the mining towns in Glamorgan- shire. where I understand they are in a position to take everything we could possibly supply. I would not for one moment advise that we should rush into this scheme It should be considered and very carefully weighed. My idea is that we should appoint a competent Committee to thoroughly sound the question, and if necessary to invite an expert like Mr. Douglas, who has had so much experience in starting bacon factories elsewhere, to give us his opinion as to the supply of pigs which we could provide, as to the suitability of a site, and as to the transport arrangements, and if after due consideration there seems to be a prospect of success, we might call another meeting of the farmers together and launch the scheme. This would probably be the best thing to do to-day. There are some faces one particularly misses, and there are two I should like to mention. These are Major Webley-Parry-Pryse, and Mr. Brigstocke, of Blaenpant, Of course we all know and regret the reason Major Pryse is obliged to leave ns, and I am sure you will all join with me—and I say so reverently-in saying we hope God may spare him, and bring him back to us safe again, (hear hear). I am sorry Mr- Brigstocke is not here for I know he takes so much interest in everything connected with agriculture. I wrote to him two days ago, and told him what I was going to suggest here to-day. Yesterday I received this telegram from him:—" Will support scheme heartily and finan- cially. Regret ab,-ieiice." And this morning I bad a letter from him from Bournemouth, where he is staying, in which he says: li I shall be pleased to support bacon factory, and if neces- sary take shares. Anything I can do to help the Tivyside farmers is a pleasure and a duty, but it must be reciprocal. I have no faith in free, gratis institutions." In conclusion, Mr. Morgan-Kichard- son said "I am quite sure that if we fail to start this factory, we shall fail merely because the Com- mittee have decided that it is not likely to succeed in Cardigan, and not because the landowners and the farmers are supinely indifferent to the agri- cultural interests. Considerable discussion ensued (there being twelve speakers). The proposal generally was favourably criticised, the main points of the dis- cussion turning (a) on the capacity of the district to maintain an adequate supply of pigs (b) on developing the market for Welsh bacon in the South Wales mining centres (e) on th^paralysing effect of the want of confidence shewn towards each other by farmers—as experienced by existing agencies, and particularly in a private attempt to establish a creamery and (d) the question whether the dead weight prices of the factory would be as good as the live weight prices obtained in the market. At the close of the discussion Mr. Morgan- Richardson proposed the appointment of the follow- ing gentleman a" a Committee to enquire into the subject:—Col. Picton Evans, Mr Thomas Havard, Mr D. S. Jones. Mr Evans, Llwynduris, Mr Hughes, Rhosygader, and Mr D. Ivor Evans. This was seconded, and with the addition of Mr. Morgan- Richardson's name, the Committee was duly con- stituted.

Lancashire and Western Sea…

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