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Co-operation is the most powerful marketing mechanism, BWMB

17
Dec '09
Gethin Havard - Vice-Chairman, BWMB
The improving price being paid for wool by merchants this season should underpin producers' returns next year to a level that is at least on a par with 2009 – and hopefully more, according to British Wool Marketing Board Vice-Chairman Gethin Havard who addressed the NFU's Welsh Livestock Board at Builth Wells.

“Prices at auction have been strong this season and that's a very encouraging sign, but wool supplies across the world are getting tighter. The world is now producing barely half the amount of wool compared with 15 years ago,” said Mr Havard who farms near Sennybridge.

He told the NFU board that the BWMB had been vigorously implementing new strategies to reduce its marketing costs at every stage, but had faced the consequences of a contracting UK ewe flock which meant the amount of wool being handled was steadily reducing. Mr Havard stressed that his involvement with the BWMB had only served to strengthen his belief in co-operative marketing.

“Nothing has dissuaded me away from my commitment to co-operative marketing. There is great strength in unity - it's the most powerful marketing mechanism and deserves continued support from producers,” said Mr Havard. He explained that the BWMB had faced tough decisions over the closure of depots but believed that where this had occurred the new intermediate collection centres had provided producers with an effective alternative.

“Even so there have been those producers who have sold their wool outside the BWMB scheme this year. I wonder if they know what a happy Christmas they have given to the exporters who have taken their wool at low prices and are now undermining the market by selling to customers that would have come to buy wool from the Board's auctions."

“With no marketing infrastructure to maintain, no depots, no shearing training and no research and development into British wool, the exporters are doing nothing more than piggy-backing on those producers who remain loyal to the British Wool Marketing Board's support of the sheep industry.”

British Wool Marketing Board


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