The sheep shearing season in the United Kingdom is well underway and many organisations are keen to show their support for the industry. The NFU and the British Wool Marketing Board are two such organisations that are working together to support the British wool industry as it strives to make a comeback.
The NFU is a non-profit organisation that collects, grades, promotes and sells wool that has been made in the United Kingdom. It has been in operation for over 60 years and represents more than 45,000 wool producers in the country. The British Wool Marketing Board on the other hand are a farmers’ co-operative that are involved in practically all areas of the sheep industry, from farming to the end product. It is the aim of the British Wool Marketing Board to ensure the future of the UK sheep sector by investing in continuos support of the industry.
The chairman of the NFU livestock board, Charles Sercombe, has claimed that, “working together and collaboration are key to growing the market for wool which unfortunately remains relatively poor”. Mr Sercombe has also been quick to point out that there has been much volatility throughout the market in the last 12 months, causing several challenges for the livestock sector in general. He believes that, “having a strong producer organisation to compete in this global market is essential”.
One of the most prominent actions by the British Wool Marketing Board in relation to supporting the farming sector has been their involvement in the global ‘Campaign for Wool”. As a founding member they have helped to develop this campaign, which involves encouraging people to choose wool products and to spread the message of its use as a natural option.
The Campaign for Wool has been going strong since 2010 with HRH The Prince of Wales as an official patron. The launch event in October of 2010 saw 100 companies and thousands of customers participating in wool week. Savile Row in London was transformed to accommodate the event, with a pasture being created for fifty real sheep to come and graze on! Since the creation of the campaign in 2010, frequent events have been organised throughout the country to show consumers just how beneficial wool is for a variety of uses and how the industry is an essential component of British trade. The Campaign for Wool has also been introduced to other markets around the world, such as in Germany, Norway, Japan, Australia and Spain.