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Sheep producers to support Wool Board marketing system
22
Dec '09
Frank Langrish, BWMB
Frank Langrish, BWMB's Chairman
Sheep producers would be left with wool on their farms and have to pay for its disposal – that would be the inevitable outcome of a sheep industry that had to cope without the marketing system operated by the British Wool Marketing Board, its Chairman Frank Langrish spelled out to sheep farmers in North Wales.

“Life without the marketing system of the British Wool Marketing Board would mean sheep farmers would be a lot worse off. Those who believe their wool would be bought by private buyers are living in cloud cuckoo land. “You only have to look at how the exporters operate in the current market. They buy wool over a very short time period and are selective in what wool they buy,” Sussex farmer Mr Langrish told members of the Farmers Union of Wales at a meeting in Coleg Lysfasi, Ruthin.

He explained that exporters currently buying from UK sheep producers were only taking wool off farms during a four-month period. “An open market for wool, if there was no Wool Board, would see a lot of sheep producers selling only a small amount of their clip – and many hill farmers and those running small flocks or in difficult locations would have to dispose of the wool themselves,” said Mr Langrish.

Farmers were told that the Wool Board provided a service to all producers - regardless of the size of their flock and the type of wool they needed to sell. “The marketing, promotion, research and development - as well as shearing training undertaken by the Wool Board – would cease if the Board was not in place. And we all know the serious implications that had on the New Zealand wool sector when funding wool promotion came to an end in 2000.

“The price of wool is currently steadily improving and that has to bode well for producers. But the price of wool would reduce dramatically if there was no structured marketing through the Board's auction system. Producers will see a better return for their wool in the future if they support the Board and continue to work together. We must remember that every kilo of wool handled by the Board is vital to keep its operational costs down and ensure producers' returns are maintained,” said Mr Langrish.

British Wool Marketing Board

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