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Organic Wool – a premium at last!

Organic Wool – a premium at last!

The value of organic wool is growing. Last year, for the first time, organic producers of the finer grades of organic fleece got paid a premium for their clip – wool buyers reckoned on paying as much as three times the value of conventional in certain circumstances. And, although shearing is probably not quite top of farmers' thoughts at the moment, it is worth planning ahead to make sure your fleece retains its organic status, from the farm and through the Wool Board's auctions.

The Board has a system of green wool sheets in order to retain the integrity of organic fleece. Only farmers who use the distinctive organic sheets will, if the price is right at auction, get a premium. Contact your local depot – Newtown or Brecon – to get green sheets if you have not had them before or don't have enough (the Board estimates 1 sheet per 50 fleeces). You also need to make sure the Board has a copy of your latest certificate and trading schedule (which should list wool as a certified product). Without these, the Board cannot treat your fleece as organic.

Organic Wool in Wales will soon have its own website. The key purpose is to explain 'why' organic wool - in particular, its advantages for animals, farm biodiversity, the environment, textiles workers and consumers. Different sections on the site will give information to farmers, processors and businesses, and consumers on organic wool standards.

Juliet Morris, Ystrad Organics, is developing the site and is keen to make it as visual as possible and representative of organic sheep farms around Wales. She is appealing for digital photographs that organic sheep farmers might have of their sheep. The website will also include a 'market place' page, offering free listing to organic wool producers who sell direct to the public (and are exempt from selling to the Wool Board) and other organic wool businesses.

You can contact Juliet at

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