This paper addresses the trade and commercialisation of oilseed cakes (residues from the extraction of oils) and press cakes in Italy and France during the last decades of the 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century. It tries to demonstrate that the diffusion of oilseed cakes for livestock, a distinctive sign of the intensification of breeding that involved all of Europe, or as organic fertilisers, took place at the crossroads of multiple dynamics. Trade policy of the states, industrial choices and development paths of the different rural worlds help to explain the variations in timing, spatial scale and methods used. The spread of oilseed cakes confirms that the modernisation of European agriculture happened on different and interrelated fronts.
For comments on a preliminary version of this paper, I would like to thank Gianpiero Fumi, who directed me to relevant bibliographic corpus on oilseed cakes in Italy, Léo Charles, Laurent Herment, Arnaud Page, Christine Strottman and the participants of the panel 9 of the EURHO Conference 2017, held in Leuven. The responsability for the results is entirely mine.
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