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Maximising the Value of Your Fleece

Gareth W Jones, Producer Communications Manager


As we enter another shearing season, the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) continues to be active at every stage of the wool supply chain

and is the only central marketing board still in operation in the UK, making it a truly unique organisation in the agricultural sector.

The BWMB operates depots across the UK, collecting wool and grading it according to type and quality before selling it on producers’ behalf at regular auctions to wool merchants and end users across the globe.

From shearer training to the Campaign for Wool, BWMB is active at every level. Its objective is to help improve the quality of fleeces being delivered to depots and increase the demand for British wool. Producers wanting to maximise the value of their fleeces should ensure they deliver them to BWMB depots in the best possible condition and that starts with clean and efficient shearing.

One important service the Board provides to all producers is the grading of your wool – in order to add value to your product. Every fleece is individually graded, as every fleece is unique in terms of quality and characteristics. The wool is graded by type rather than breed with the Suffolk wool, for example, falling into the ‘Fine’ category.

New for 2016, the BWMB, is relaunching the prestigious Golden Fleece competition to search for the best fleece in the UK. The nationwide competition is open to all producers marketing their wool through the BWMB. Champion fleeces from the network of BWMB depots across the UK and from 12 regional agricultural shows will go head to head in the four country finals (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) before the national final.

Producers will receive their entry forms along with the annual price schedule in May and will be eligible to enter a maximum of two fleeces which will be judged on a daily basis in two categories; Traditional Carpet Fleece and Speciality/Knitwear Fleece.

All depots will judge fleeces on an ongoing basis throughout the season until the competition closing date in October when every depot will have a Depot Champion Fleece from both categories.

These Depot Champion Fleeces will then be judged in a county competition which will include the Champion Fleece from the eligible shows within each county. The eight winning fleeces from the county competitions, will be sent to Bradford and take pride of place in the national final which will be judged by Mark Powell, Chief Operating Officer, BWMB.

The Campaign for Wool (CFW), now in its 7th year, continues to raise awareness of wool as a versatile, quality fabric for carpet, fashion and interiors. ‘Wool Week’ took place in early October 2015, with a number of events taking place to continue to engage with the consumer on the benefits of wool as well as woollen products.

An exciting new event aimed at showcasing the versatility and adaptability of wool as a flooring material took place in London this year. Targeted exclusively as a trade show, the event demonstrated to retailers and trade representatives the many ways in which wool can form part of a flooring solution with a series of inspirational wool showcase installations. It created a really vibrant and stylish showcase that empowered the story of wool for the floor.

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Source Details

 625 Mole Valley Farmers Newsletter

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