Farming News - Sign the petition to use wool as part of economic ‘Green Recovery’

Sign the petition to use wool as part of economic ‘Green Recovery’

In a year when wool prices are at rock bottom because of Covid-19 disruption, this 100 percent natural products has a role to play in building the circular economy according to NFUS Vice President Martin Kennedy.

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At home in Highland Perthshire, the only thing that Martin and his family have left to shear are their Blackface ewes. However, shearing this year is being done almost purely as an animal welfare task as the price is through the floor.

Recently, NFU Scotland wrote to UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Agriculture Victoria Prentis, requesting that the UK Government work with British Wool to produce package of support that would be at least commensurate with the business support offered to other companies suffering from the impacts of coronavirus disruption.

Martin writes: “Surely this is when we should be maximising the potential of our own products like wool.  If we were to invest more in our processing sectors, we can create more jobs, add value to what we produce, become less reliant on imports thereby reducing emissions, and if we use wool as an example, insulate our houses with one of the best known natural renewable resources there is on the planet.

“Wool has a role to play in building the circular economy.  It is durable, flexible, flame and water resistant, sustainable, renewable and biodegradable.  When it ticks so many boxes, wool has the potential to assist greatly in the much talked about ‘Green Recovery’ of our economy.” 

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There is now a petition is calling for British Wool products to be mandatory for insulating in the government’s new home insulation scheme and for insulation and carpeting in any public financed building projects.

Find out More and Sign The Petition

The call comes after increasing reports that farmers are incorporating wool fleeces into the manure heap rather than selling to British Wool, after the price of wool fell way below the price of shearing for many farmers.

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These 1000 wool fleeces are about to be incorporated into the manure heap. What a waste of a once valuable resource. A sustainable product that could be used to insulate homes for all government grant supported buildings.

Sheep farmers receive less for their wool than the cost of shearing the sheep. Last year David Jones, who is pictured with his wool above, received 28p a fleece and paid the shearer £1. This year the value it set to drop by at least half. Hence he and many other farmer's across the country, decision to plough their wool into the fields as fertiliser.

NFU livestock board chairman and North Yorkshire sheep farmer Richard Findlay said: “We are pleased to support this much-needed campaign to find new and alternative uses for British wool. It is a natural, sustainable product and is suitable for a range of uses from carpets, textiles and clothing as well as housing insulation.

“At a time when we’re all concerned about our own impact on the environment and when the country is working towards a net zero economy, it makes absolute sense that the government does all it can to encourage the building trade to use a natural product like wool rather than using man-made products.”

The signatures will be delivered by hand to the Chancellor at Downing Street.