Chinese delegation unravels Welsh wool sector.
THE Welsh wool industry has opened its doors to a delegation from China, the world's most important market for Wales' wool producers.
In an attempt to understand the UK wool supply chain, the Chinese group visited a North Wales hill farm and called at the Wool Testing Authority Europe (WTAE) laboratory, Caernarfon.
As UK wool shipments normally take at least a month to reach China, the country's trading companies were keen to unravel the certification process.
WTAE managing mirector Tim Parkes said: "Chinese wool buyers and processors fully understand that two of the critical factors in any buying and processing decision are the micron and colour of the wool.
"These dictate both the use and the yield.
"WTAE offers full confidence to the Chinese wool trade that UK wool shipments have been sampled to internationally recognised standards."
The Chinese group also travelled to Nant Gwynant to visit the farm of Bedwyr Jones, the British Wool Marketing Board's (BWMB) member for North Wales.
There he gave them a shearing demonstration with a few of his 1,600 Welsh Mountain and 400 Romney sheep, plus some crossbreds.
BWMB chief executive Ian Hartley said: "About 30% of British wool now finds its way to China, so visits like this are important.
"The chance to show the Chinese delegation British sheep in their natural environment on a Welsh Hill farm was an excellent way to showcase the care and pride taken by British farmers."
Watching the on-farm shearing |