Official and therefore reliable information which relates to the canning industry in France is unfortunately almost impossible to obtain at the moment of writing. This is the more regrettable, as it is to France that the world is indebted for the inception of an industry whose influence has been as profound as it is widespread. The French manufacturers, however, do not seem to have availed themselves as fully as they might have done of the possibilities, or complied with the requirements of the modern developments of the industry. For example, until quite recently we understand that a prejudice existed against foodstuffs which had been preserved in tins instead of in bottles or jars. This prejudice is in process of being overcome to what will be undoubtedly the great benefit of the industry. Tins of course have been and are being widely used at the present time in the “putting up” of sardines to mention only one well‐known item of the French canning trade, but they could be used more than they are for many other things. When tins are used standardization of the sizes of containers becomes easier, with attendant advantages in the matter of packing and transport. Again, leaving quality out of the question, such standardization is to the benefit of retailer and consumer, for the one knows the weight and bulk of what he sells and the other of what he buys, to say nothing of the saving effected in time, labour, and material in the factory itself. As an illustration, though it may be an extreme one, of the want of standardization in this respect, it has been stated that no less than thirty‐one different sized containers are in use by one firm which “puts up” foie gras! The disadvantage, especially in the export trade, of such lack of uniformity is too obvious to need comment. In the United States, with its enormous home and export trade in canned foodstuffs of all kinds, the necessity for standardization has long been recognised and acted upon. The system of trade and Government control over output is in this respect complete. In France, on the other hand, it would seem to be only beginning. The matter, however, is engaging the attention of “Agnon,” that is to say the Association Française pour normalization, which has already taken action with regard to certain products, namely, mushrooms, legumes, and sardines—and it has under consideration a project whereby the containers of other foods may be standardized in shape and bulk. There has hitherto been to a certain extent an absence of the full measure of co‐operation among French “packing houses” to use the American term, but the Conseil National et Inter‐fédéral de la Conserve—of which our contemporary, “La Conserverie Française,” is the official organ—is taking steps by a somewhat belated but fully justified campaign of propaganda to give the necessary information relating to every aspect of the canned and bottled foodstuffs prepared by French manufacturing houses.
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