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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
([1937])

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


Page 54


will produce bacon and pork products of a quality and type preferred by the
British consumer.
    Until the eighties Germany had provided a market for the lard type
of hog but the protective tariff policies of Germany, begun in 1879, closed
this
outlet. At about the same time an urgent demand for a high grade bacon de-
veloped in England. The Danes set about to meet this demand. Now, to get
on
the English market, the Danes were forced to take their pigs to Hamburg
and the pigs were slaughtered there and the bacon shipped to England. The
shipping of pigs, sometimes great distances to the packing plants in Hamburg,
was not satisfactory. Transportation costs were high together with wide mar-
gins asked by local buyers. At the same time, the private packing plants
ex-
perienced great difficulty in getting a sufficient number of pigs of the
bacon
type to operate with a satisfactory degree of economy to produce the products
efficiently.
      FIG. 9-COOPERATIVE HOG SLAUGHTERING AND BACON PACKING PLANT
                            AT KJOGE, DENMARK
   Iurn bnd bacyx pared in cooperative plants such as the above is known
particularly
weE in D nish ad n.glish markets. About 85% of Danish hogs are saughterd
in cooperative
plants.
    In meeting this problem the Danish farmer again relied upon the prin-
ciple of cooperative organization. In 1887, twelve hundred and eighteen farm-
ers in the vicinity of Horsens, Denmark, organised the first cooperative
swine
packing plant association. Twenty-four thousand pigs were slaughtered in
the first year. In 1916, after 28 years of successful operation, the plant
was
rebuilt and now has a capacity of 8,000 pigs per week, slaughtering between
80,000 and 90,000 annually. The members are under a contract agreement
which includes two emsential features: (1) The members are bound to deliver
their pigs to the plant for seven years and (2) they are jointly liable for
loans
made by the association to provide for the plant and operating capital.
    In 1890 there were ten cooperative swine packing plants. Several of
these early plants experienced considerable difficulty. largely because of
the
lack of sufficient pigs to operate economically and because of the scarcity
of
qualified men for managers. There were few leaders who understood the prac-
tical as well as the technical side of the packing plant industry.
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