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Welsh women see how BWMB works for sheep farmers
Oct '11
Members of the North East Wales Women's Food and Farming Union group saw for themselves the complex nature of the British Wool Marketing Board's work to maximise the value of British Wool this week when they visited BWMB's headquarters in Bradford.

First stop of the day for the visitors was the fortnightly wool auction which allowed the women to see BWMB's electronic auction system in full flow and see the demand for British wool from both a broad spectrum of buyers.

The group were then given a guided tour of BWMB's North of England Wools' grading and storage depot by Assistant Depot Manager, Stephen Kitson, where they were shown how every fleece is graded and packed ready for sale.

Like many visitors to the depot the women were intrigued by the highly complex nature of the grading process and how integral it is to BWMB's role in maximising the value of British wool, explained Mr Kitson.

Then the women were treated to a tour of Haworth Scouring where they saw how raw wool is scoured and cleaned ready for the spinning process.

And then they followed the process on to the next stage with a visit to Atlantic Yarns where they saw a modern spinning operation in process, seeing yarns created for both the domestic and international trade.

Group organiser Karen Bellis said the visit had been a highly inspirational experience for the group members. “We all learnt a lot about what BWMB does with the wool once it leaves the farm and being able to see the process through from the depot to the spinners' was a real insight into the industry. The skill involved in grading the fleeces was outstanding and the work being done by the scourers and spinners to make our wool ready for use in products across the world is first rate.”

It's all too easy to forget about wool once it leaves the farm, but with wool prices at a 25 year high it is a valuable product once again, adds Mr Kitson.

All in all it was a very interesting day and the group members have gone home with a much better understanding of the wool industry than before, said Ms Bellis. “The work of BWMB is clearly second to none and the success of the Campaign for Wool left us in no doubt that there is a future for British wool.

British Wool Marketing Board

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