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Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/89

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THE CO-OPERATIVE MOVEMENT

sented in the Joint Co-operative Bacon Factories of Denmark, which has worked with energy to further exportation. It greatly influenced the 'Acts concerning Domestic Animals' passed in 1902 and 1912. The latter supports the breeding of domestic animals by government grants for cattle exhibits; by subsidies to horse and cattle-breeding societies; by the support of control societies; and by subsidies to stations for pig breeding. All this is performed in co-operation with the associations. Thus the management of the hog-breeding centres is placed in the hands of the co-operative bacon factories.

An interesting supplement to this exploitation of farm products is the co-operative exporting of eggs. Starting on a very small scale, this business has become a really important source of revenue for the country. It was inaugurated in 1895 by the Danish Co-operative Egg Export Society, which now has many branches. Each branch has a distinctive number, and each member of the branch also has a number. These numbers must be marked on the eggs before they are delivered to the egg-collector of that branch, and a strict supervision of the members is thus easily maintained. This society also encountered difficulties at the start, but it soon succeeded in securing recognition for its eggs in the London market, where they brought good prices. From the numerous branches all over the country the eggs are sent to packing centres, where they are examined and packed for export. The poultry raisers have not co-operated with anything like the alacrity of the bacon manufacturers; still, in 1909, about 20 per cent, of the poultry farms and about a fourth part of the poultry were enrolled in the numerous branches. One half of the net proceeds is distributed to the branches in proportion to the value of the eggs delivered; and the other half is set aside for a reserve or operating fund in which the several branches have shares. Each branch is an independent body which provides its own necessary capital by raising loans on the unlimited liability of its members, as was the case in the co-operative dairies. It was remarkable for the