June 25, 1903

ADULTERATION OF BUTTER.


Bill (No. 207) to prohibit the importation, manufacture or sale of adulterated, process, or renovated butter, oleomargarine, butterine or other substitutes for butter and to prevent the improper marking of butter, read the second time, and House went into committee thereon. On section 3, In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,- (a) ' Creamery ' means a place where the milk or cream of not less than fifty cows is manufactured into butter ; (b) ' Dairy ' means a place where the milk or cream of less than fifty cows is manufactured into butter ; (c) ' Butter ' means the food product commonly known as butter, which is manufactured exclusively from milk or cream or both, with or without the addition of colouring matter, common salt or other harmless preservative ; (d) ' Creamery butter ' means butter which is manufactured in a creamery ; (e) * Dairy butter ' means butter which is manufactured in a dairy. (f) Renovated butter ' or ' process butter * means any butter which has been melted, clarified or refined, and made to resemble butter.


CON

Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

I have not read this Bill, but I would ask the minister in regard to fixing the number at fifty cows in order to constitute a creamery, whether butter that is marked dairy butter would imply a lower grade of butter than creamery butter ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (Hon. Sydney Fisher).

I do not think it

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. FIELDING.

would. The object is to prevent what has been done in certain cases, and which is held to be a detriment to the export trade in butter. There is still in Canada some continuance of a practice which has generally been discontinued, of repacking small lots of butter into boxes or tubs, and marking it ' creamery,' and forwarding it as creamery butter. Now, our creamery butter lias a certain standard, and if butter is not so made, but is marked ' creamery butter,' there is a danger that it will not be up to the reputation which has attached to creamery butter. Complaints have been made to my officers of these packages as damaging the reputation of our creamery butter, therefore, it is that we put in this definition of creamery butter.

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CON

Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

I should say that it would be a reflection upon a farmer that had only forty-nine cows, if he was not permitted to mark his butter ' creamery butter,' although it may be made under the regular process of creamery manufacture. He would then come under the odium that might reflect upon butter stamped ' dairy.' The minister says that our butter has been injured to some extent. We should prevent that, but in safeguarding the reputation of our butter in England, we should be careful not to reflect upon a very good quality of butter that is made by individual farmers. After the experience of large dairying, we find now that the labour of carrying large quantities of milk to the factory has become so burdensome in some sections of the country that farmers are starting out with small separators and carrying the cream to the factory, and it is yet to be tested whether cream so collected is not going to produce a really first-class quality of butter. It is possible to collect this cream from large areas and manufacture it into a first-class quality of butter. Since the development of the dairy industry, in many parts of Canada we have to-day herds of fifty cows where we had not more than ten cows before. In passing this Act we should be careful to do nothing that would reflect upon the product of a man who has less than fifty cows, if it should be determined that their milk can be made under the regular creamery process into butter that will perhaps bring the highest price because the milk is not exposed to any other than the first-class conditions provided by the farmer.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I quite understand the objection the hon. gentleman (Mr. Pope) makes and there is some force in it. When we considered this section we found that we had to adopt a definite number. It would be very difficult in any other way to describe creamery butter. The ordinary acceptance of the term creamery butter is butter that is made in a cooperative factory and not on the individual farm. I understand fully that a great t many private dairies make just as good but-

ter as is made in any creamery or anywhere else in the country, but we certainly must acknowledge that when butter is made in very small lots and packed in a package it is almost impossible that it should have the character that creamery butter ordinarily has, and it was to avoid any such misrepresentation as is likely to occur under the present condition of affairs that we adopted this number as it would not be desirable to have any such butter sent forward under the name of creamery butter. I understand that the number fifty is rather an arbitrary number, but I do not know that we can get a much better number to serve the purpose. If we go much below fifty the dairies would be hardly of the character that the hon. gentleman has just described.

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CON

Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

Is that not a good argument for making it a little lower-say twenty-five instead of fifty ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I do not know that I would object if we put it at twenty-five or thirty instead of fifty, although fifty seems to be a very reasonable number. I think, as a matter of fact, that a great deal of dairy butter is sold at as high a price as creamery butter. Where the dairy butter is of the character that the hon. gentleman has described I think it is its reputation that gives it that price, but where the dairy is of a smaller character and the product cannot conform to the necessary uniformity and equality required by the export trade it would hardly be entitled to be marked as creamery butter. I am not particularly wedded to this particular number, but we thought it was as safe a number as we could take.

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CON

Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

Fifty cows would have a product sufficient to fill an ordinary package of fifty pounds, which would entitle a creamery to participate in the export trade.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

But perhaps a less number of cows hardly would.

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CON

Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

I would suggest that it should be made a less number. .

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CON

James Gilmour

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GILMOUR.

The product of fifty cows kept where the creamery is situated would have a better chance of being converted into good butter than if the product were gathered from different farms and taken to a creamery. The cows would be kept in one place, they would be managed in the same way, and because of that they would produce better quaility of butfier than the butter which would be made from the product of scattered herds. It is too bad if, by reason of this Bill going into effect, butter so made should get the name or the status of a secondary article. If you must give names to the different varieties of butter you must endeavour to find some means whereby you shall not prejudice the

kind of butter that I have spoken of in the minds of those who purchase it. There are farmers who keep about the number of cows that is mentioned in this subsection and who manufacture their own butter on their own farms. I believe that a better class of butter can be made in one dairy from the product of a single herd than can be made from the product of various herds.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

I quite sympathize with what has been said by the hon. member for Compton (Mr. Pope) and the hon. member for East Middlesex (Mr. Gilmour) I think, for various reasons and especially for the reasons that these two hon. gentlemen have suggested, that the number fifty in this subsection is too large. I have understood that one of the difficulties in establishing creameries in sections of the country where creameries have not at all become common was to. get a sufficient number of people interested in the matter. I believe that if the law will permit butter made in a creamery with a less number of cows than fifty, to be marked and sold as creamery butter, it will assist people who may be interested in this matter to establish a creamery, where otherwise it would not be easily established, and for that reason and the reasons suggested by these hon. gentlemen I think, on further consideration the proposal I am about to make will meet with the views of the hon. minister. I beg to move that the word ' fifty ' in subsection (a) be struck out and that the word ' twenty-five ' be substituted in lieu thereof.

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CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

Make it twenty.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

I am not particular whether it is twenty or twenty-five, but I thought it was quite sufficient if I split the number in two. It will then meet the case of a farmer who desires to put in the necessary plant and make creamery butter even if he only has forty or forty-five cows, or a less number than fifty, and it will meet the case of a neighbourhood where no creamery has been established and assist those who would be interested in it and who have perhaps ten, or fifteen cows, in getting a sufficient number to join together to start a creamery which might afterwards be enlarged so as to make an establishment taking the milk of perhaps 200 cows. I think the hon. minister is going to defeat the object he has in view by limiting this number to fifty, and depriving a certain number of people of the privilege in regard to selling their butter to which they are just as much entitled as others living in a section of the country where a larger number of people take an interest in the manufacture of creamery butter or where a farmer desires to enter into the manufacture of butter on his own account.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Any one who looks at

the market will notice the distinction at

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

The amendment proposed by the hon. member for Halton (Mr. Henderson) to reduce the figure is certainly worthy of consideration, but I think we ought not to change it without very careful consideration and without a full understanding of the subject at issue. The motion implies that there is to be a distinction drawn and that the principle of the Bill in drawing that distinction is a correct principle. I believe nobody will gainsay that fact. The market reports for years have drawn a distinction between creamery and dairy butter, but, there is no definition as to where the line should be drawn at what is creamery and what is dairy butter. It is perfectly true that there is a good deal of dairy butter which is made just as well as creamery butter and which is of just as high a Quality.

However, especially in the export trade there is a standard of creamery butter and a standard of dairy butter. All this Bill proposes to do is to draw the line where creamery butter and dairy butter are divided at the place of manufacture. In reply to the objections that have been taken as to the number of fifty cows, I may say that figure was adopted after considerable discussion and consideration and it is based to a certain extent on the fact that that Mr. SPROULE.

figure has already been defined in Acts of this kind. In Manitoba a local Act declares that a creamery shall be a place where the milk of more than fifty cows is made into butter, and in New Zealand, there is a similar law. My hon. friend from Halton need not fear that this law will interfere with the establishment of creameries. No man would put money into the establishment of a creamery unless he believed that he would get more than fifty cows milk. As a general rule, about 200 cows is the least number on which a creamery is started. We have to obviate giving latitude for a larger amount of dairy butter being marked as creamery butter. When first class dairy butter is marked creamery butter, no evil arises, but when inferior dairy butter or, repacked butter is shipped as creamery there is a decided danger to our export trade. Therefore some line of demarcation is necessary. There is no question but that where a farmer has fifty cows, he must be a superior farmer and his business would justify the employment of the best appliances and skill so that the chances are a hundred to one that the product of his dairy will be equal to creamery butter. On the other hand, where a farmer has a small number of cows it is just possible the standard of his butter may be sometimes doubtful. Therefore these large private dairies may be safely allowed to mark their butter ' creamery,' while the same rule would not apply to smaller dairies. When a man with a few cows really makes first class butter, in ninety-nine cases out of one hundred, he has a special local market and sells his butter on the reputation of his own name and not as creamery butter, and sometimes he gets a higher price for it than the price for export creamery butter. He will not suffer any detriment by this clause. I would strongly recommend the committee not to adopt any figure lower than ' fifty.'

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LIB

Aaron Abel Wright

Liberal

Mr. WRIGHT.

I cannot conceive what advantage would be gained by lowering the number of ' fifty ' to ' twenty-five.'

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CON

June 25, 1903