End of an era as wool board chairman steps down

A NEW chairman has taken over the reins at the British Wool Marketing Board in Bradford.

Northumberland farmer Malcolm Corbett has this week stepped down from the top job, allowing the board’s first Northern Irish chairman, Ian Buchannan, to be assume the responsibilities.

Attending his last official event as chairman, Mr Corbett visited the Rheged Centre in Penrith who this week hosted a visit for the Prince of Wales.

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Mr Corbett said it had been an honour and privilege to lead the board during a period of relative prosperity in the wool industry and to have helped deliver better wool returns for producers.

“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.”

The board has 11 depots around the country where raw or ‘greasy’ wool is graded, including one at Canal Road, Bradford, which is one of the largest.

More than 70 per cent of British wool is exported, with customers in over 50 countries.