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Farmers’ union in wool use plea

By Sue Austin | Farming | Published:

A farmers’ union leader has called for new measures to increase the use of British wool in furnishing homes and public buildings.

In a letter to Julie James – the Welsh Government’s minister for housing and local government – NFU Cymru’s livestock board chairman Wyn Evans has called on the government to support Welsh farmers by specifying wool-rich carpets and other interior fabrics in all government and local authority buildings.

The letter also advocates wool insulation to be used as part of grant schemes on existing properties and new builds.

The letter follows a summer in which sheep farmers have seen the price they receive for their wool clip collapse as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the worldwide market for wool.

The situation has sparked a petition, which NFU Cymru is supporting, which calls on the UK Government and each of the devolved governments to make the use of wool mandatory in new home insulation schemes and for insulation and carpeting in public buildings.

In his letter Mr Evans said: “You may be aware of the current crisis the British Wool Marketing Board is facing because of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.

"This is severely affecting wool prices, demand and the ability to trade this totally natural, environmentally friendly product.

“Wales has approaching five million breeding sheep and for animal welfare purposes sheep must be shorn annually.

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"The crisis in wool markets means the price that farmers receive for their wool is only a fraction of their shearing costs.

“We believe there are opportunities to increase demand through the domestic market here in Wales.

"Welsh Government could play a significant role in doing just this whilst meeting commitments to protect and enhance the environment for future generations.”

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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