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Industry centric body for US alpaca
Mar '17
With a view to help manufacturers in production, promotion and marketing of US alpaca fibre, US Alpaca Fibre Council (USAFC) has set up its industry-centric organisation. The body will help building an efficient communication infrastructure between US alpaca growers and manufacturers to educate growers in profitability, sustainability and harvest. 
Earlier in a meeting in Washington to discuss strategies to move alpaca fleece into the national supply chain, the USAFC was formed to bridge the gap between the expectations of manufacturers and the needs of the alpaca community. The council consists of artisan and commercial mills, agricultural cooperatives and alpaca industry experts who are qualified to support manufacturers in their alpaca product initiatives.
Since the US first commercially imported alpacas in 1984, the primary focus of alpaca breeders has been to produce the finest, softest, most lustrous fleece. There is now a national herd of superior fleece which is able to compete in the global market. The alpaca industry is moving forward to produce products which will find place in homes across the US and abroad.
"While the textile industry focuses on supply chain sustainability, re-shoring and authentic brands, we believe US  grown fibre  and US  made alpaca textiles could not be a better fit," said Chris Riley, owner NEAFP and founding organiser with USAFC.
The mission of USAFC is to build an efficient communication infrastructure bridging the gap between US alpaca growers and US manufacturers by educating growers on profitability, sustainability and harvest best practices. Benefits to manufacturing will include sourcing, pricing, quality assurance and market analysis. The council is meant to create a focal point where US growers and manufacturers develop strategies to address technology, market access and quality.
"The founders understand the opportunity of being at the ground floor of this very exciting industry. They all agreed to work collaboratively on a sustainable and efficient US alpaca supply chain," said Norm Johnson, president, Alpaca Owners Association.
Organisation founders of the council are Alpaca Coalition of America, Alpaca Fibre Cooperative of North America, Alpaca Owners Association, Artisan Mill Network, New England Alpaca Fiber Pool, Natural Fibre Producers, Sorting, Grading, Classing and Suri Network. (SV)

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