Wool – Livestock board chair Richard Findlay looks at opportunities ahead

11 April 2022

Livestock Environment
Richard Findlay meeting His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales

NFU livestock board chair Richard Findlay writes about his recent meeting with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales about the value of wool, and the importance of promoting British wool for the development of sustainable, innovative products in markets around the world.

Lambing is well underway and many farmers are now gearing up for shearing season, which brings one commodity back to the forefront of our minds – wool.

Over the past few years the value of wool has continued to decline, now not even covering the cost of shearing.

But why? Wool is a fantastically versatile and sustainable product. It’s completely natural, it’s hard waring, and has fire retardant properties, so it makes no sense that it remains so undervalued.

"It was great to hear HRH talk about the opportunities for wool to replace man-made plastics and fibres, and the importance of wool’s value getting back to the farmer."
NFU livestock board chair Richard Findlay

Promotional video – Why Wool Matters

This week we saw the launch of a fantastic new video, Why Wool Matters, by the Campaign for Wool which aims to promote the benefits of wool and how it can contribute to sustainability.

Meeting the Prince of Wales

I also had the pleasure of meeting His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who features in the Why Wool Matters video, at the Darlington Auction Mart this week.

It was clear he passionately believes in the value of British wool as a product. It was great to hear him talk about the opportunities for wool to replace man-made plastics and fibres, and the importance of wool’s value getting back to the farmer.

Ultimately, more needs to be done to promote the properties of wool and develop new innovative products in markets around the world, and that’s why the Prince of Wales’ involvement in the Why Wool Matters video was so encouraging.

He has an important audience and this has the potential to open new doors for many UK businesses. I would like to thank His Royal Highness for his continued support in championing the use of sustainable British wool.

Championing British wool

This campaign presents an opportunity for us sheep farmers to talk about what we do too. The NFU will be supporting by sharing the video across its own channels, and I ask you to do the same.

The Campaign for Wool has provided a really useful tool to promote what is a fantastic product and demonstrate the environmental credentials of British wool to the public and industry – let’s use it.

We still have a way to go to open up new markets for our wool, and of course British Wool has a huge role to play here, but the opportunities are there and waiting.

Let’s do what we can do put wool on the manufacturing map.

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