Text: University of Guelph logo; "The History department presents Rural History Roundtable Speaker Series Fall 2023; on orange background with leaves
Thursday, September 21, 2023 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Remember Bristol and French cheese: Canadian cheese in Britain, 1880 - 1914


Colin Coates, Professor of Canadian Studies at Glendon College, York University


In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, dairies in Ontario and Québec became the main international suppliers of cheese to the British market. The presentation looks at Canadian efforts to accommodate British views about the quality of cheese sent to the United Kingdom, and the strategies of farmers, dairy workers, merchants, shippers, and government officials to maintain Canada’s place in that market. With a particular emphasis on Québec producers, we examine the critiques from Bristol merchants about the quality of cheese from that province, and the on-going use of this rhetoric to convince Québec farmers and dairy workers to change their practices. This presentation is part of a larger project on the environmental impact of British demand for Québec natural products, especially timber and dairy products, and it is co-authored with Stéphane Castonguay, UQTR.