A Northumberland farmer has stepped down as chiarman of the British Wool Marketing Board.
Malcolm Corbett, who farms at Rochester, said it had been an honour and privilege to lead BWMB during a period of relative prosperity in the wool industry and to have helped deliver better wool returns for producers.
Attending his last official event as chairman before handing over the reins to the Board’s first Northern Irish chairman, Ian Buchanan, Mr Corbett visited the Rheged Centre in Penrith which hosted a visit from the Prince of Wales.
He said: “It’s been pleasing to see wool prices become stable at a relatively high level over the last few years.
“What everyone in the livestock sector needs is stability and the board, through its competitive auction system, has helped ensure better, more stable prices for British wool to the benefit of all producers.
“I urge sheep farmers to continue to support BWMB in the years ahead to help it remain competitive and to maximise the value of their own wool clip.
“British wool consistently achieves the highest wool prices in Europe and that is no coincidence.
“It comes as a result of BWMB offering wool in an organised fashion throughout the year at regular auctions, with every fleece graded and included within an appropriate sale lot.
“Importantly, the board is also active in other parts of the wool supply chain, from shearer training right through to marketing and promotion, something no other organisation does.”
He added: “It is fair to say that British shearers are now some of the best in the world and there is no doubt this is a direct reflection of the quality of training being delivered at BWMB shearing courses the length and breadth of the country. This is something every sheep farmer in the UK benefits from and helps ensure fleeces are delivered to depots in the best possible condition.
“Additionally, I am immensely proud of the Board’s support for and involvement in the Campaign for Wool (CfW). The international profile of the CfW has helped highlight the significant advantages and opportunities wool offers as a fibre in both the fashion and interior-design markets and producers should be rightly proud that through BWMB they are helping support such a high-profile marketing campaign.
“I have greatly enjoyed my time as both a board member and chairman and have gained a huge amount of respect for the hard work and dedication of everyone at BWMB.
“There is no doubt we’ve had to make some tough decisions in my time on the Board, but every member of BWMB staff works hard to ensure producers get the best return for their wool.
“I would encourage every sheep farmer in the UK to take the time to find out what BWMB does for them and to understand the complexities of the wool supply chain.
“I have no doubt that the board delivers exceptional value for farmers and is immensely valuable to the sheep sector in this country.”