09 October 2014
A group of young farmers from NFYFC recently visited the British Wool Marketing Board in Bradford as part of the ‘Walk the Wool Chain Study Tour’ to find out more about what happens to their sheep’s wool once it leaves their farms.
Young farmers were given an introduction to the wool industry and the BWMB’s work in shearing training, grading and the auction system by BWMB Producer Communications Manager Gareth Jones. Examples of wool in the different stages of the process were displayed from greasy wool, scoured wool, carded wool as well as yarn, and examples of wool products. A visit to the North of England Wools grading depot in Bradford followed; were students saw wool being graded, packed and tested before being allocated to sale in one of the 18 electronic auctions held annually by the BWMB – they were also able to experience a live auction as British Wool Sale 70 took place during their visit.
In the afternoon, students visited Haworth Scouring Limited to see the next stage of the process where the wool is scoured (washed) before being processed into a number of various woollen based products – from carpets, rugs, soft furnishings to cloth and insulation.
Two of those on the visit were Jessica Morgan and Julie Denby (pictured below) who both entered, and came first and third respectively, the NFYFC’s ‘The Journey of Tweed’ national competition held over the summer. Competitors were asked to design a mood board to demonstrate the processes involved in the production of tweed from the sheep in the field to the fabric of a garment - Jessica, a member from Warwickshire YFC, was successful from a very strong entry of 60 mood boards in winning the competition. The top 5 placed mood boards, including Jessica and Julie’s entries, are currently on display at the BWMB head offices and will also be on display at their annual conference being held in York in November.
Jessica said, “I found the day fascinating - having the opportunity to learn more about the wool chain and understand more about the BWMB’s important role within the sheep sector was both interesting and valuable. It also gave me a much better insight into what happens to the product once it leaves the farm – especially following my research and the work I did on my ‘Journey of Tweed’ mood board earlier in the summer. It was also very special to see all 5 mood boards on display in the BWMB reception area at their head offices - I thank them for all their support’’.
Gareth Jones, Producer Communications Manager, BWMB welcomed the opportunity to work and engage with the next generation of farmers which was vital for the long term sustainability and future of the industry.
“As well as experiencing a live wool auction and learning about the grading of wool, the group were also given a presentation on the promotion and marketing activity of BWMB’s involvement in the Campaign for Wool - a worldwide movement which has been instrumental in increasing awareness of the many varied qualities of wool and wool products which is helping to stimulate increasing demand.”
Mr Jones added, ‘’I congratulate both Jessica, Julie and all those who entered the NFYFC competition on their enthusiasm and interest in wool which can be seen in their mood boards. The BWMB are committed to continuing to work and support the NFYFC and we congratulate them on the good work being done in promoting farming and the countryside and in identifying opportunities for young people to learn and develop’’.
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