Sheep producers who are embarking on the 2021 shearing season have been told they can look forward to better prices for their fleeces – if they support their own co-operative.
British Wool cites improving wool auction prices, a huge reduction in the wool glut built up during the first Covid lockdown and its own cost savings of around 7p per kilo for the optimistic forecast.
However the organisation, which is owned by 35,000 British sheep producers, insists it needs members to support it by sending in fleeces after it handled less wool than usual in 2020.
Chief executive Andrew Hogley said: “Despite the challenging year we have had, British Wool is still making a payment to producers for their 2020 clip. The total return averages 15p per kilo.
“This is still a long way below where we need it to be but we are optimistic that we will see a further price recovery through the course of the next year. A healthier stock position, reduced cost base and recovering auction prices puts British Wool in much stronger position to deliver better value for our producers in 2021.”
The co-operative’s chairman, Jim Robertson, a sheep farmer from Dumfriesshire, said the reduced wool handled by British Wool in 2020 had a negative impact on operating costs per kilo.
He added: “The more wool we handle, the more cost effective our operations become which in turn allows us to return more value to all producers.
“Every kilo of wool British Wool handles makes an important contribution to supporting your organisation ensuring we can continue to provide a high standard of service to all producers, drive demand for British wool with our customers and downstream manufacturers, work with universities and industry on new product development and finally, continue to represent your best interests as wool producers.
“I’d encourage all producers to support British Wool and for those who have wool from 2020 still on the farm, to deliver this into British Wool this season.”