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Change needed in the wool market

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By Fiona Reid
Farming
Change needed in the wool market

A FARMER from the region is calling for a new approach to wool and wants to hear from others keen to start a campaign.

Andrew Roxburgh, of Boreland, has a keen interest in sustainable farming methods.

And he particularly believes wool is an underused and underrated product.

He said: “Enough is enough. As a sheep farmer, I feel like there needs to be a new approach to wool.

“The Scottish Government is investing millions into schemes they believe are helping to avoid environmental disaster, e.g. planting trees, digesting waste, biomass plants etc.

“Plastic and basic ‘hydrocarbon based products’ used in clothing, insulation, packaging are not sustainable. Yet we still completely rely on them.

“However, wool is sustainable; it’s healthier; its carbon footprint to ‘process’ it into a usable raw material is a fraction of that of hydrocarbon based materials like polypropylene.”

The dad-of-three added: “So, I challenge the Scottish and UK governments: put your money where your mouth is and support the widespread integration of wool into society.

“If not, there will be no producers left!

“We need the government to get behind it with some financial support/incentives. Whether they do is a true measure of whether they actually care about our nation’s carbon footprint.”

Mr Roxburgh revealed his wool from this year’s crop is currently destined to replace Terram buried under rock in his field gateways, adding: “That will save me multiple times the money I could ever hope to receive from wool buyers currently.”

He was speaking out following an announcement by British Wool of a major restructuring programme.

The organisation’s acting CEO Andrew Hogley said the action was needed due to severely depressed prices and a global oversupply of cross-bred wool, while carpet wools remain under pressure too due to covid.

As a result, British Wool is reducing the number of grading depots operated from 12 to eight.

Mr Hogley said: “I want to stress that we will not be changing our service levels to producers. Where we close a grading depot we intend to replace this with a new intermediate depot in the nearby area. This will ensure producers still have a local drop point for their wool with no onward haulage charges.

“We will also continue to take all types of wool from any producer. The sites we are closing are still open for producers to deliver this season’s wool and will remain so until the middle of February.”

  • Anyone interested in helping Andrew Roxburgh launch an official campaign should contact him via Facebook or email fr@dngonline.co.uk

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