Wool production remains at the heart of local agri
With an announcement expected soon by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) with regards to the application process for the £1.27 million Covid-19 support package for Northern Ireland’s sheep farmers, Brendan Kelly, Chairman of Ulster Wool, has once again reiterated the importance of Ulster Wool to the local sheep sector.
Mr Kelly said: “I’d urge all wool producers to support Ulster Wool: we are your organisation.
“Back in April, we welcomed the announcement by DAERA Minister of the £1.27million support to wool producers in Northern Ireland. Our work with the Ulster Farmers’ Union and the National Sheep Association shows the importance of having strong representation and Ulster Wool were key in this process in providing evidence on the impact of the global pandemic on the wool market.”
He continued:“The successful lobbying by Ulster Wool, the Ulster Farmers’ Union and National Sheep Association sees Northern Ireland’s sheep farmers receiving Covid-19 support for wool return losses.
“Sheep farmers in other UK countries are not receiving similar support. We should therefore not underestimate our achievement in receiving this support for local wool producers.”
Kelly went on to point out that Ulster Wool is a cooperative.
He said: “We firmly believe that the collaborative marketing of Northern Ireland’s wool clip is the best way to deliver value for wool producers. Wool producers from other countries are envious of what we have here in Northern Ireland with Ulster Wool.
“I’ve heard on many occasions’ sheep farmers from Southern Ireland wishing they had a cooperative structure to market their wool as we do. Our aim at Ulster Wool is always to maximise the value of farmers’ wool, whereas the direct-from-farm buyers want to pay as low a price as possible; paying less than they would if buying at auction.
“The only way to achieve better returns is for producers to support Ulster Wool, thus increasing the demand and competitiveness of the auction.”
Brendan Kelly concluded:“As we get further into this season’s shearing, I’d encourage all producers to support Ulster Wool and please contact our excellent team at the Muckamore depot to make arrangements for wool deliveries.
“Alternatively, producers can deliver their wool in to one of our drop off locations across Northern Ireland and from this season, the onward carriage fees for approved collection sites have been abolished which demonstrates our commitment at Ulster Wool in enhancing our service offer to producers.
“Every kilo of wool Ulster Wool handles makes an important contribution to supporting the co-op, ensuring we can continue to provide a high standard of service to all producers, drive demand with downstream manufacturers and continue to represent farmers’ best interests as wool producers.”
Ulster Wool will communicate with all registered wool producers regarding eligibility and the application process, once more details become available.