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Cheese Manufacturing in the Twentieth Century

The Italian Experience in an International Context

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Edited By Rita Maria Michela d'Errico, Claudio Besana and Renato Ghezzi

Since the end of the nineteenth century the dairy sectors of some industrialised European and American countries have experienced a phase of growth that took place at a different rate and in a different manner in each country, and which was made possible by the availability of raw materials and a more widespread knowledge of scientific and technological methods. The sector’s expansion was favoured by a revolution in transport networks, the beginning of globalisation in world markets and, decisively, by advances in packaging and refrigeration techniques. Italy in particular, despite its low availability of raw materials compared to other countries, rose quickly throughout the last century to become one of the largest international producers and exporters of cheese, especially of high value PDO cheeses. What factors were behind this achievement and which were the strengths and weaknesses of the sector during the twentieth century? The articles presented in this volume attempt to provide an answer to these questions from different points of view and using different interpretative approaches. The geographical range covered by these studies also reaches beyond Italy in order to look at other countries with relatively ancient dairy traditions. This comparative approach, although limited to just a few countries, is important in that it allows us to describe the evolution of a milk and dairy sector which has had such a large influence on the economic life of many regions in the Italian peninsula.

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The Canadian Dairy Sector in the Twentieth Century. From Openness to Closure and Self-Sufficiency (Benoit Mario Papillon)

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The Canadian Dairy Sector in the Twentieth Century

From Openness to Closure and Self-Sufficiency

Benoit Mario PAPILLON

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

1. Introduction

For a long time, dairy products have been an important part of human alimentation in Europe and elsewhere. During the Neolithic period, sometimes represented as the first economic revolution, a wide proportion of humankind switched from hunting to agriculture and “the domestication of animals […] added dairy products to the human diet”,1 making dairy products an accessible source of protein and, indirectly, of filtered water. Unprocessed milk has a short life and a low ratio of value over weight, making transportation costly. Up until the nineteenth century, this was the case with other dairy products, and, historically, consumption was satisfied from local production.

With the onset of industrialization and innovations in land transportation and communications, a long-term process of reductions in natural barriers to trade was initiated; two centuries later, it is still going on. Dairy products were not an exception, especially with advances in the cold cycle process from the late nineteenth century. Although the variety of dairy products was limited locally, globally there was some diversity; for instance, yoghurt was commonly consumed in some areas and much less known in others. Besides the reduction in transportation costs, mass migrations, particularly to the Americas, have increased dairy product diversity locally and stimulated demand for and trade in other dairy...

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