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Collaboration Key to Growing Market Returns for Wool, says NFU

20 June 2016

UK - As the shearing season gets underway, the National Farmers Union (NFU) is showing its support for the work of the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB).

The non-profit organisation has been collecting, grading, promoting and selling great British fleece wool since the 1950s and represents 45,000 wool producers, returning the market price for their wool, less its own costs.

The BWMB is essentially a farmers’ co-operative involved in all aspects of the industry from farm to product – shearing, grading, auction and marketing/promotion, supporting the future of the UK sheep sector. It has its own training division for shearers and trains approximately 1,000 shearers per year, investing in the future.

NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said: “Clearly, working together and collaboration are key to growing the market returns for wool which unfortunately remain relatively poor.

“We’ve seen over the past 12 months price volatility in the market place and challenging times across the livestock sector. Although price volatility is something as an industry we have to accept and adapt to, the wool sector has seen little change in value. How we grow its value to the producer is an ongoing challenge.

"So with a producer organisation such as the BWMB, we continue to rely on them to achieve the best possible returns for producers. This collective strength also ensures wool producers can maximise the value of their wool – wool is a global commodity and British wool amounts to only two per cent of the world’s wool production. Therefore, having a strong producer organisation to compete in this global market is essential.

“I want to see a real commitment from the BWMB, working with our sheep farmers to promote wool on a global scale in order to achieve the best possible price.”

TheSheepSite News Desk