British wool board bids to engage with young producers

The British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) will be showcasing the work it does on behalf of farmers at the Agri-Expo event it is sponsoring at the Borderway Auction Mart, Carlisle, next month

A Charollais sheep is sheared
A Charollais sheep is sheared

The British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) will be showcasing the work it does on behalf of farmers at the Agri-Expo event it is sponsoring at the Borderway Auction Mart, Carlisle, next month.

The BWMB stand is being organised jointly with the Campaign for Wool (CfW) and will cover the work done by the organisation at every stage of the wool supply chain. It will feature a full range of information about the organisation’s work both with farmers and further up the wool supply chain, said BWMB chairman and Northern England Board member Malcolm Corbett, who farms at Dykes Head, Rochester, near Otterburn, Northumberland.

“It is easy for farmers who deliver their wool to their local depot only to see it as a wool collection service, but it does far more than that. Through its auction system and relationships with processors and manufacturers the board has an active involvement at every stage of the wool supply chain.”

Mr Corbett also encouraged any new entrants into sheep farming to visit the BWMB stand and ensure their thoughts are heard.

“We are actively working on a new entrant’s initiative, so want to hear from as many new entrants as possible this season,” he said.

“Like existing producers, new entrants to sheep farming have much to gain by marketing their wool through the BWMB’s competitive auction system which helps maximise the true value of their wool.”

For any new entrants who may be unable to attend the event, a specific email address, newentrants@britishwool.org.uk has been established for producers to contact the BWMB.

Mr Corbett added: “Our intention is to engage with potential young producers and discuss ideas on what would benefit them if a scheme was introduced. We’ll also discuss potential ideas with stakeholder groups.”

Staff will be on hand throughout the day to talk to farmers about the current wool market situation and the likely outlook prices this year.

Mr Corbett explained: “With a 34% rise in wool prices and an increase in the volume sold to date compared with the same point in the 2012-sales calendar, this is one example of the benefits sheep farmers gain from selling their wool through the British Wool Marketing Board.

“This increase in price and volume sold is a direct result of competitive bidding by wool buyers and there is no doubt that without the auction system, prices wouldn’t have risen to the levels they are and clearance rates would be lower. The competitive element of the auction system is a tried and tested way of delivering the best possible prices for farmers.”

The current sales season may just be seven sales old but, with nearly 40% of the clip already sold, Mr Corbett is confident better prices and higher demands will stay for the remainder of the sales season.

“We started to see an uplift in demand at the last few sales of the 2012 selling season and this has continued in to the new season,’’ he said.

“The Agri-Expo event is an exciting event in the farming calendar for 2013 and we’re looking forward to meeting sheep farmers to help them understand and appreciate the work the Board carries out on their behalf.”

The Agri-Expo event takes place at Borderway Auction Mart, Carlisle. on Friday, November 1.

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