Global demand boosts UK wool exports
Cumbrian farmers look set to benefit from a boom in British wool with the value of UK exports reaching nearly £200 million in 2014, exports to China having doubled since 2013.
Last year, around 800,000kg of high quality wool was shorn from Cumbrian breeds including Texel and Swaledale and the hardy Herdwick. According to Defra, UK exports of the fabric are now being shipped to 50 countries, including China and the United Arab Emirates.
Over 1,000 new wool producers were established last year across the UK and Environment Minister, Rory Stewart, comments: “It’s exciting to see our industry giving the likes of Australia and New Zealand a run for their money.
“We’ve long led the pack in terms of fashion design so it’s only right our creative ideas can be made using sustainable, British raw materials. This is a great example of the huge contribution farming, including traditional hill farming in Cumbria, can make to our economy.”
Wool is the latest UK export to be in high demand in China, following in the footsteps of salmon and whisky.