A way forward in optimising the potential of wool and the return for farmers was hotly debated when Farmers’ Union of Wales President Glyn Roberts met with Bedwyr Jones of the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB).
Mr Jones gave an update on how farmers can optimise the potential of their wool, whatever the breed, type, location or size of flock at the meeting, which was held at FUW President’s farm Dylasau Uchaf, near Betws y Coed.
Bedwyr Jones has been the North Wales regional board member since April 2011. He farms 3000 acres at Gwastadanas, Nant Gwynant, Beddgelert, runs a flock of 1600 Welsh Mountain Ewes and has been a member of the Welsh regional committee for several years.
The wool market has been struggling globally as a result of the strong sterling for most of the selling season. This resulted in a lower return for producers this year compared to 2015.
In the meeting Mr Jones highlighted that the Board is always looking for ways to promote wool through new and exciting initiatives, saying: “It’s vital that we maximise the returns to producers as much as possible.”
In March 2016 the BWMB, with support from the Campaign for Wool (CfW), launched a new trade show for carpets held in London.
It was the first show of its kind held in London and was well supported by the UK carpet industry and was aimed specifically at carpet retailers, manufacturers and the interior design sector.
In addition CfW launched a new website www.woolretailer.com at the show, aimed at supplying information to consumers about wool products and includes a search facility to highlight wool retailers in a particular area.
“Although only launched at the end of March, early indications are good and it is being supported by the carpet manufacturers,” said Bedwyr Jones.
Glyn Roberts welcomed the new initiatives and reiterated his support for the BWMB and recognises the central role it plays for the Welsh sheep industry.
“I’m very glad the BWMB are looking into new and different ways to promote wool. The agricultural industry has always got to stay ahead of the game in promoting our outstanding produce to consumers and retailers and that of course includes wool,” added Mr Roberts.
The BWMB is the last remaining agricultural commodity board operating on cooperative principles returning the true market value for their wool, less its own costs to producers .
“I would urge all farmers to support the BWMB – by working together we can maximise wool prices.
“It enables the Board to offer significant volumes of quality wool to sell through an open and transparent auction system to buyers and customers all over the world.
“As an Union we recognise the power of collective strength and that’s why it’s important for producers to look at the long term benefits of marketing their wool through the BWMB,” added the Union president.