11 January 1916 - WW1 Blog - Jersey Heritage

The States continued their debate this week over whether or not to permit the sale of margarine in Jersey.


The States continued their debate this week over whether or not to permit the sale of margarine in Jersey.

A proposal make it available in the Island came before the Assembly in December. Its sponsor was the Constable of St Helier, John Pinel, who claimed that the increase in food prices since the war began meant that poorer people could no longer afford to buy butter. Given these circumstances, it was imperative to make a lower price, wholesome substitute like margarine available.

The proposition faces considerable opposition however. Some members argued strongly against margarine on the grounds that it was far from wholesome, being made in a dubious manner using dubious ingredients. Other claimed that its availability would ruin the local dairy industry by causing the price of butter to collapse.

One compromise – which continues to be debated – is to only allow uncoloured margarine, to ensure buyers are clearly aware it’s not butter. Constable Pinel is strongly against to this measure. Pointing out that many of those opposed to bringing in margarine were dairy farmers themselves, he challenged members whether they would be happy to put something insipid-looking and white on their bread.

Associated Record: L/C/35/A/F/12 contains an amendment to the rules for the sale of margarine and other non-butter substances, also for the sale of foreign butter.