2015-06-08    facebooktwitterrss

British Wool Exports are Booming

Farmers are set to benefit from a boom in British wool with the value of UK exports reaching nearly £200 million in 2014 - with exports to China doubling since 2013.

Last year, approximately 800,000kg of high quality wool was shorn from Cumbrian breeds, including Texel, Swaledale and the hardy Herdwick. UK exports of the fabric are now being shipped to 50 countries, more than ever before, including China and the United Arab Emirates.

A Herdwick grazing on High Stile Ridge

A Herdwick grazing on High Stile Ridge

© Copyright Michael Ely
and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

With over 1,000 new wool producers established last year across the UK, and 1,200 flourishing in Cumbria, the wool industry is building skills, creating jobs and boosting local economies.

The news came ahead of Environment Minister Rory Stewart’s visit to Cumbria - a county with more sheep than people - for the Cumberland Show on Saturday 6th June.

Commenting on the increased demand, Environment Minister Rory Stewart said:

"Wool has been keeping us warm in the UK for hundreds of years, and it’s exciting to see our industry giving the likes of Australia and New Zealand a run for their money."

"We’ve long led the pack in terms of fashion design so it’s only right our creative ideas can be made using sustainable, British raw materials. This is a great example of the huge contribution farming, including traditional hill farming in Cumbria, can make to our economy."

Wool is the latest UK export to be in high demand in China, following in the footsteps of salmon and whisky which boast export values of £64 million and £39 million, helping to create a strong brand for British produce both at home and abroad.

Gov UK

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