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Cheese crate end; CT83.1362.17

Cheese crate end, CT83.1362.17
Cheese crate end
About this object
A cheese crate end for crates of NZ Cheddar cheese. Cheese reg. no. 688 was produced at the dairy factory at Katea which is generally agreed to be a shortened form of “kahikatea.”

White pine, kahikatea, was eagerly sought after by the saw millers for cheese crates because it was odourless unlike most timbers which have a scent and therefore “taint” butter or cheese.

Most districts in the Catlins had their own dairy factory. The first co-operative dairy factory opened at Ratanui in 1893. Other factories in the Catlins were Tarara (cheese), Hina Hina (cheese) and the Fairfield factory at Katea. This factory was re-built in 1950 after the original was destroyed by fire. The new factory was one of the best in New Zealand for equipment, lay-out and conveniences for handling the production of cheese. As sheep farming became more popular, suppliers dwindled and the Katea dairy factory closed in 1970.

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