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Entrepreneur comes to the aid of small alpaca herd owners
Apr '11
Phil Allen, a businessman from Dorset is to start an Alpaca wool processing plant with finance from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) that he obtained with the aid of Business Link.

The entrepreneur established the plant – 'Two Rivers Mill' in association with Pete Roissetter, after identifying that the market lacks a professional alpaca fleece processing unit that does not stipulate minimum order quantities.

Phil revealed that, though he has never associated himself with rural business prior to this, he resides on a farm, while Pete possesses an Alpaca herd.

He said that, by way of discussions with different parties they learnt that several Alpaca owners are at a loss to know as to what they should do with a small quantity of the animal's fleece. Most of the existing alpaca fleece processing units insists on large minimum order quantities for processing, which is not viable for small Alpaca herd owners.

The new processing unit, set up at a Wimborne based industrial plant, near Bournemouth, would stipulate a minimum order of around 10 kilos, which it would spin into yarn which can be used for weaving or knitting.

RDPE provided a grant of £16,000 to the business to help it with the start up expenses, while the business too invested an equal sum from its side.

The entire amount was utilised for the procuring second-hand fibre processing machinery, to pay the first year's rent and consultation charges for seeking advice and assistance from one of the UK's leading specialist fibre technician.

Business Link since 2008 has assisted more than 400 farms and rural businesses to obtain grants ranging from £4,000 to £2 million, through the RDPE Programme.

The new plant which is to go operational in June this year has already booked orders in excess of its target set for the first year.

Phil stated that, they have already got orders for the current year which is three times more than the order strength that they were actually expecting. They are eyeing a slow but steady development over next two years, he added.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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