Germany’s submarine campaign is having a drastic effect on the UK’s butter imports. To fill the gap, many have turned to margarine, a product dismissed prior to the war as a poor substitute for butter. Increased demand has led to Britain’s Food Control Committee introducing rationing for both butter and margarine, with distribution and prices of the latter strictly controlled by a new ‘Margarine Clearing House’.
While Jersey falls outside of UK control for food and rationing, Britain does supply margarine to the island. As such, the British Government has been in contact to ascertain both Jersey’s requirements for butter, margarine and other spreads, and to coordinate supplies.
In response, the secretary of Jersey’s Food Control Committee has confirmed that the island’s population of 44,000 consumes 180,000 lbs of butter per week and four and a half tons of margarine. Additionally, local vegetarians require approximately three hundredweight of nut margarine each week.
Under new arrangements, Jersey will no longer be able to acquire margarine stocks from normal food wholesalers. Instead, they will have to come directly from the Margarine Clearing House, supplied in bulk to meet the island’s stated requirements and no more.
A/E/10/2 contains correspondence from March 1918 on the question of the island’s margarine and butter requirements, and schemes coming into place for controlling stocks and supplies.