Since the early 1800s the dairy industry in New Zealand has gone from farmers keeping a few domestic cows on bush blocks to being a world leader.
The first dairy cows to arrive in New Zealand were Shorthorns, known at that time as Durhams. They were introduced in 1814 by missionary Samuel Marsden for mission stations in the Bay of Islands. The cows came from the New South Wales Crown herd, and were a gift from Governor Lachlan Macquarie. Shorthorns were useful draught animals, which gave good milk and provided excellent meat.
1828-Chew Chong was born in Hoiping, (now known as Kaiping) China where he received a good education, including English. He later left to work in Singapore for a few years.
Treaty of Waitangi has been signed; A consignment of cheese from Banks Peninsula to Sydney is New Zealand’s first dairy export.
Chew Chong left Singapore for Australia, where he worked as a shopkeeper and supplied the Chinese miners with goods
Chong travelled to Dunedin, New Zealand, staying for 2 years working for Sew Hoy who bought and exported scrap metal to China.
Moved to the North Island, finally ending his journey in Taranaki in 1870. He settled in New Plymouth and established a store-two premises east of a Bank on the NE corner of Currie and Devon Streets, built on existing stone walls on each side.
New Zealand’s first Co-operative, the Otago Peninsula Cheese Factory, was formed.
Chew Chong was trading in butter and this he sent to Australia to sell.
The butter he sent to Australia in 1874 was not successful. After finding no financial success in NZ, a consignment was later sent to England.
New Zealand’s first refrigerated ship, the Dunedin, carries a consignment of milk and butter to the UK.
The first factory that made only butter began at Kārere, near Palmerston North, in 1884, but most dairy factories were soon converted to make both butter and cheese.
Chew started a butter factory at Eltham, the Jubilee Dairy Factory (known as “Milky Way”. It was built and equipped at a cost of 3,700 pounds and opened on December 1887. Sid Morris was the first Manager and his brother was Asst Manager. Chew successfully invented a rotary butter worker.
Govt Dairy Instructor reported that the Jubilee Factory was one of the best factories visited, good machinery, and thoroughly clean. It had two Danish cream separators each capable of putting through 150 gallons of milk per hour and 1 box-churn capable of churning ½ ton butter at once.
Won the Sliver cup and 2 Certificates at the Dunedin Exhibition for the best ½ ton of butter packed for export. Bought milk from farmers at 2 ½ pence per gallon, less ¼ penny a gallon for cartage to factory, less another ¼ penny per gallon if farmers wanted skim milk returned. For a time butter was packed in enamelled boxed. Previously it was in kegs.
The Eltham Co-op Dairy Factory was established. This was set up by farmer who “deserted” their supply of milk to Chew Chong’s factory. Although Chew had granted loans to many of the farmers (who didn’t repay them), Chew held no malice towards them even though it meant gloom for his factory! The Co-operative system had started and many of the suppliers, who have urged Chew to start business, left him to join the Co-operative Companies that were gradually increasing in numbers.
Bought the Mangatoki factory and sold it in 1895 to NZ Loan and Mercantile Ltd.
First production of milk powder in pouch form.
To honour the memory of Chew Chong as a New Zealand dairy pioneer and in recognition of the finest dairy products that the “Jubilee Dairy Factory” provided, in 2017, Jubilee Dairy Ltd began to rebrand the “Jubilee Dairy Factory” and deliver genuine New Zealand Dairy to the world.
New Zealand has become one of the largest suppliers of dairy products all over the world. The Jubilee brand created by Mr Chew Chong has become an important milestone in history and his legacy is preserved at New Zealand Puke Ariki Museum.