Ulster Wool reveals changes to charges

Ulster Wool have announced changes to their producer haulage charges for the 2021 season.

Ulster Wool have confirmed, in order to further support producers they’re enhancing the service offering with onward carriage fees at all approved collection sites from this season, being abolished.

Andrew Hogley, CEO said: “Throughout the pandemic the Ulster Wool depot and collection sites remain open in a Covid secure manner and we continue to accept all types of wool from all producers, a principal which lies at the core of our cooperative ethos.

“Abolishing the onward carriage fees for approved collection site demonstrates our commitment at Ulster Wool in delivering a high level of service and also enhancing our service offer to producers.”

Mr Hogley added: “A small number of producers chose to hold on to their wool last year. This meant we handled less wool which had a negative impact on our operating cost per kilo. The more wool we handle the more cost effective our operations become which in turn allows us to return more value to all producers. With this in mind please encourage your colleagues in the farming community to support Ulster Wool and deliver their wool this year.”

Details on producer payments and the 2021 Producer Information & Wool Values Booklet will go ‘live’ on the Ulster Wool website on Friday 14th May.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is supportive of Ulster Wool’s decision to get rid of onward carriage fees at all approved collection sites from this season.

UFU hill farming chair Nigel McLaughlin said: “We support the movement taken by Ulster Wool to abolish wool delivery charges. This will benefit our sheep farmers greatly and if they do not already avail of the service Ulster Wool provides, we encourage them to do so.

“Northern Ireland has only one grading depot located in Muckamore, Co. Antrim and we want to ensure that it survives and remains open in future for the benefit of our sheep producers. The volume of wool Ulster Wool receives from farmers is crucial to sustaining the grading depot and we hope this decision will create an increase in wool distribution to the depot going forward.”

The UFU worked closely with Ulster Wool and other stakeholders in the sheep sector to ensure the grading depot remained open during COVID-19. Continuous lobbying by the UFU also resulted in gaining a £1.27million COVID-19 support package for sheep farmers who suffered poor wool prices due to the impact on the global market.