IFA Sheep Chairman Kevin Comiskey has called on Ministers McConalogue and Hackett to establish the industry-led Wool Council as a matter of urgency, which was recommended by the Wool Feasibility Study.
In its feasibility report published in July, the Department for Agriculture, Food and the Marine committed €30,000 to help establish a Wool Council. However, this has yet to be taken further.
Kevin Comiskey said the only real recommendation contained in the report is the establishment of the Wool Council, which would develop and promote Irish wool domestically and internationally, bringing together stakeholders to foster collaboration, innovation and scaling activities.
The IFA Sheep Chairman said he has witnessed first-hand the benefits of a co-ordinated approach to developing and promoting markets and outlets for wool when he visited British Wool in September.
“British Wool’s co-ordinated approach has greatly benefited its farmer members and British wool typically trades well above Irish prices, helped by the structures in place,” he said.
He said there are huge opportunities to develop a unique brand for Irish Wool and most importantly add value to this renewable product for sheep farmers.
“Discussions with British Wool show what can be achieved where a co-ordinated approach with Government support is provided in the promotion, marketing and processing of wool. These are systems and structures that can and must be replicated for Irish wool and the first steps are convening the Wool Council,” he said.