Interview with Ian Hartley

Ian Hartley
Ian Hartley
British Wool Marketing Board
British Wool Marketing Board

Do you feel that the supply of natural wool is less and it's unable to meet the market demand?

The supply of British Wool is not dependent on the price of wool but rather the level of demand for meat. The wool clip has reduced by 40% since 1990 to around 30 million kg and, at this level, supply and demand are in equilibrium. Improved demand from emerging markets will not be met by an increase of supply.

What are the limitations of British woollen industries? And how can they be rectified?

I feel this question was relevant 10 to 20 years ago but today the industry has changed so much, to react to global competition and changing commercial environments, that the UK wool industry is now having a resurgence on the back of its long history for quality, design and innovation and the provenance in the market place for UK manufactured goods.

How the practices of British sheep husbandry/ farmers have changed from time to time?

As with all industry, the UK sheep farmers have had to improve efficiencies, productivity and adhere to new and more exacting environmental controls and regulations. Although the practices have changed there is still a variety of breeds within the UK and reluctance amongst a large number of farmers to change those historical breeds.

What are the innovations in the woollen industries that are supposed to bring a change in the global market?

Wool itself is a natural and most technical fibre and what we are seeing now are enhancements of wools’ natural qualities to increase the vast range of potential uses for the fibre.

Tell us something about UK Wool week to be held in October 2013. Who can participate and what will be its benefits?

Campaign for Wool (CfW) started in 2010 and is backed by the major wool producing nations -Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and UK – and with the Patron of HRH, The Prince of Wales, the CfW has grown from strength to strength. Last year over 200 major retail brands participated in the UK Wool Week, and it has now been extended internationally into USA, China, Europe, Japan etc. The CfW is open to all companies of the wool textile industry with the aim to work together to raise consumer awareness to the benefits of the fibre and the vast range of products that are available.
Published on: 15/07/2013

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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