British Wool looks to the future with the National Sheep Association
Speaking at the event Joe Farren said “British Wool are proud to be a partner of the National Sheep Association (NSA) for the valuable work they do and I’m honoured to have been invited to open this event.”
The South West of England is hugely important in the world of sheep farming and sheep farming is vital to the South West rural economy and its communities. “My experience of sheep farmers here is that you are very passionate and dedicated, qualities that are shared by our local wool depots here at South Molton and Liskeard” Added Mr Farren.
Updating the audience on wool prices, Joe Farren said “wool prices at auctions fell 10% in 2016, mainly due to a move in Chinese fashions away from the use of our finer wools in clothing.
On a brighter note, the recent spring auction prices have been better than the 2016 average as a whole. The 2017 wool that we have seen so far is a better colour than 2016’s clip and this should help prices to some extent. However, it is fair to say there is an unusual degree of uncertainty in terms of the British and global economic and political outlook which is creating price volatility.”
The British Wool payment system returns the average price from auctions across the year, removing the price volatility risk to some extent. The 2017 Latest Wool Values were displayed on the stand at the event and staff were on hand to discuss these with producers.
Mr Farren also took the opportunity to discuss the improvements currently being made within British Wool, the producers’ business. All depots are being run more efficiently and have targeted a 3p/kg reduction in depot floor costs for the 2017 clip. This equates to a 7% reduction in the total overall costs.
Improvements to the service provided also include the opening of 4 new collection centres for this season – 1 in Hampshire, 1 in Cheshire and 2 in Northern Ireland.
British Wool works with the NSA in many areas including: co-participating in their Next Generation Ambassador programme which seeks to encourage and support young sheep farmers; many of the NSA’s regional managers are also representatives on British Wool regional committees; platforms are shared at agricultural shows and industry events and British Wool news is extensively covered in the NSA newsletter.
Joe Farren also said “British Wool are keen to work more closely with the NSA on key industry issues as well as promoting British sheep products, be it wool or meat.”
Notes to editors:
Joe Farren British Wool’s Chief Executive Officer opening NSA Sheep South West 2017
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