Solutions sought for Ireland's "worthless" wool
With Irish wool considered “worthless” at the moment, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said he was open to looking at suggestions on the future of the product.
He was responding to a question from ICSA Sheep Committee chairman John Brooks at the association’s AGM in Abbeyleix, Co Laois on Thursday.
“The situation at the moment is that wool is worthless and it will become a welfare issue on farms in the near future,” explained Mr Brooks. He said synthetic materials had seen wool go out of fashion 50 years ago.
“In the intervening years it has been dumped into China and now we are suffering the vagaries of the Chinese market for wool,” he explained.
Mr Brooks said “wool is natural, it is carbon friendly, it is renewable. There’s no animals killed or slaughtered. It’s a beautiful product, it is a marketers dream.” Over the past year the ICSA has carried out work in relation to the wool market.
Mr Brooks said “we would ask you would you be prepared to put a forum together to look at this very valuable product that is currently being dumped.”
Minister Creed said it was co-incidental that a woman whose business involved wool had contacted him in recent times. He explained that it was a global phenomenon when wool went out of fashion and said he is open to exploring options for the future of wool.
“Maybe there is merit in collectively sitting around and seeing what we could do, the business opportunities, I am open to that,” he told Mr Brooks.