SOURCING AND FINANCING LOCAL RAW MATERIALS IN THE NIGERIAN BEVERAGE INDUSTRY. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON PRODUCTION AND OPERATIONS MGT.
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The history of raw materials can be traced back to the rise of industrialization from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century when the feudal system was still in existence in England.
Farming was the principal occupation of the thirteenth century in England and was destined to remain so for another 500 years. Baronial power was strong and increased with the enclosure movements for sheep rearing in the late middle age, especially after the Black Death of 1348-49 had killed at least one third of the laboring population. This gave a fillip to the principal manufacturing industry of the age the cottage wearing of wool especially in eastern England. At first the raw product only was exported, mainly to the wearing centers in flankers. By the mid thirteenth century the domestic course weaving industry had become sufficiently established in rural areas to facilitate an important cloth exporting trade as well. Near the end of the century Edward III induced the skilled Flemish weavers to settle in England, safe from religious persecution and fine quality cloth manufacture arose.
Metal working was perhaps the only other not worthy industry of these times, primarily for weapons of war rather than implements of peace reflecting the unsettled nature of the times. Iron smelting using wood as fuel was located mainly in forested areas such as the weald and Gloucester shire. Other industries, of less importance included the product ion of glass and salt, ship building and the mining of lead and coal.
In late mediaeval England, the location of wool manufactured moved from the plains of the east to the higher lands in the rural west and north, with its domestic and part time nature emphasized. In home industry the women and children carded and spun, and the men wove the yarn. Merchant capitalists, using pack horse transport delivered the raw materials and collected the finished product. Production was cheaper and less restricted than in the old gild dominated towns and facilitate the use of local water supplies for power and for filling, but by the nature of production the work could not be closely supervised and losses of cloth and time had to be tolerated by travelling merchants.
At this, time, export of raw wool hides, leather and tin from England were controlled by the merchant staplers and woolen cloth primarily by the merchant adventures. The country had been a late starter in international trading owing to her position on the fringe of the old world. The Mediterranean has maintained its Northern Europe involved continental merchants such as the handcars of German and Scandinavian, who largely provided the initial impetus and enterprise which brought English traders wide markets.