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NZ farmers keen to work with Prince on rebuilding industry

New Zealand woolgrowers have discovered an unlikely ally in the Prince of Wales.

In Britain this week it was revealed Prince Charles had met representatives of the British Wool Marketing Board, farmers and fashion experts to discuss the revival of the fibre.

It was reported that two years ago, the Prince identified the need to boost wool prices after complaints from farmers and tenants of his Duchy of Cornwall estate.

A spokesman from the Prince’s official residence at Clarence House told the Daily Telegraph the Prince was “very concerned” about the prices farmers received for their fleeces and decided something must be done to help.

As a result, His Royal Highness is championing a Commonwealth-led initiative to reignite wool as the fashion fibre of choice.

Federated Farmers was quick to jump on the Royal bandwagon and contacted Clarence House.

Meat and fibre chairman Bruce Wills said Federated Farmers had contacted Clarence House to “express interest” in working with the Price.

“Wool is a fashionable, eco-friendly and durable alternative to synthetic fibres. HRH is getting leading figures on board to work with retailers, designers and manufacturers to showcase just what and ecological and versatile fibre wool really is,” he said.

The Telegraph highlighted New Zealand’s wool price plight – they are the lowest in 50 years – and suggested the Princes project need the support of Commonwealth countries, particularly New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the Wool Industry Taskforce appointed last year by Agriculture Minister David Carter is shortly due to report on its plans to reinvigorate the flagging industry.

Wool export receipts are worth about $550 million to New Zealand, but have been incline for years.

More by Liam Baldwin

Comments and questions

I was at the event in Cambridge, along with representatives of Wools of New Zealand, Government officials and other NZ wool compnaies. There is a clear opportunity for NZ wool products to join in on the increasing conumer trend towards sustainable products.
Where were the NZ farmers on the 26th?, Why did they decide to vote againts backing these types of inititives?
You can't not invest in marketing and still expect the market to notice you. Lets hope the taskforce listens to the experts in the global market. They won't fix wool from within.