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University of Wisconsin. College of Agriculture. Dept. of Agricultural Economics / Cooperation principles and practices: the application of cooperation to the assembling, processing and marketing of farm products, to the purchase of farm supplies and consumers' goods and to credit and insurance

VI. Cooperation in Denmark,   pp. 48-59 PDF (3.5 MB)

Page 52

ble not only to carry the butter to the consumer at lower cost, but in meeting
market requirements it brought the farmer a higher price.
    The first cooperative creameries met with great success. They were or-
ganized on sound principles of cooperation and were well financed and effi-
ciently operated. News of the success and popularity of the first cooperative
creamery soon spread to all the rural sections of Denmark. Its economic
benefits were realized immediately by farmers. Many new cooperative cream-
eries were built. The movement enjoyed a spontaneous and most remarkable
growth the first ten years. The local cooperative creamery is an established
part of every rural community. In 1982 there were 1,402 cooperative cream-
eries in Denmark and it is estimated that about 90 per cent of all of the
dairy farmers in Denmark were delivering their milk to cooperative creameries.
The average cooperative creamery has a membership of about 150 farmers
and receives the milk from about 1,200 cows.
    Dairymen belonging to these cooperative creameries early recognized
the importance of extending their cooperative effort to the manufacture of
a quality butter of uniform grade. They were not satisfied to have quality
butter in one cooperative creamery but they also recognized the desirability
of having all the cooperative creameries manufacture a quality butter of
form grade. This made possible the merchandising of-the butter from all of
the cooperative plants under one label or trade mark known as the "Lur
Brand." As early as the nineties, Danish farmers began a voluntary move-
ment to have the Danish creameries use this common trade mark, and by
legislation enacted in 1906 and amended in 1911 "Lur Brand" has
become the
national trade mark on all export Danish butter.
    When each creamery registers with the government for the use of this
common trade mark, it is given a number which is a part of its "Lur
mark. With the registered number of the creamery that manufactured and
packed the butter stamped on each cask, the Danish butter on the retailer's
counter in England can be traced back to its producer. According to Danish
law, the "Lur Brand" guarantees the butter to be manufactured from
or milk of a certain standard and handled according to certain specifications.
The creameries using the "Lur Brand" are supervised by government
experts. Upon the request from the experiment laboratory authorities, either
by letter or telegram, without any advance notice, a creamery is obliged
forward immediately a cask of the day's butter production. If at any time,
the official judgings show that the butter manufactured in a certain creamery
is below the standard requirements, that creamery loses the "Lur Brand"
privilege. This restricts its butter to home consumption until the standard
been raised to satisfy the requirements.
     The dairy farmers and their cooperative creameries further recognized
that they would have to take the responsibility in marketing their products
if they were to get the benefits of a quality product of a uniform grade
which could be merchandised under the common trade mark "Lur Brand",
which would regularly assure consumers of a quality product. Consequently
the Danish farmers took a second step in cooperation. They organized their
local cooperative creameries into federations, or central selling organizations,
for the purpose of shipping and merchandising their butter to the retail

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