What should we do with this 12 months’s wool crop? Pay to do away with it? Tip it on the muck heap? Burn it? Or, should we simply probability that it could be value one thing subsequent 12 months and retailer it?
This, sadly, is the unhappy predicament that most individuals within the sector discover themselves in.
It’s arduous to imagine that wool was as soon as such a sought-after product that it was the cornerstone of the British economic system.
See additionally: How to make the most of wool in a depressed market
Its historic significance to the nation remains to be evident immediately – signified, for instance, by the truth that the speaker within the House of Lords sits on a wool sack to this very day.
My grandfather as soon as advised me that when he was a younger man, the annual wool cheque paid the lease on many farms.
This has been removed from the case all through my farming life. We assume we’re having a good 12 months if the wool cheque manages to cowl the price of shearing.
It’s vastly irritating that in an period the place “sustainable” and “renewable” have grow to be two of the buzzwords, we, as a society, aren’t utilizing wool extra broadly.
Its virtues as a product are limitless. It’s eco-pleasant, air-purifying, anti-static and even flame retardant. So why, with all of those advantages, is there supposedly not a marketplace for this extremely sturdy fibre?
It would seem that the Covid-19 disaster has even discovered a method to have an effect on this market. A big proportion of British wool is normally exported to China and, with them closing their borders in a single day, it was inevitable that these results would quickly be felt.
Many individuals will blame the British Wool Board for not doing sufficient to seek out new markets, however they’re a co-operative owned by us, the farmers, so the jury stays out on whether or not or not they should be bearing the brunt of the blame.
Shouldn’t there be extra of a deal with creating home markets? After all, it’s one thing we produce right here in an abundance.
Only a few brief weeks in the past, Boris and his authorities introduced that they might “build, build, build” to attempt to assist restore the economic system after the consequences of coronarvirus.
Could this strategy probably provide a possibility for the excess of wool right here to be used as insulation? It may not be the excessive-finish premium market that wool deserves, however at the least it will be a market.
For what was as soon as such an integral a part of our nation’s society, wool’s fall from grace has been vital – however let’s hope that there’s a possibility for a mini revival.