The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, is seeking input from stakeholders to guide the commissioning of a major feasibility study on wool.
She is appealing to those interested in identifying what they see as market opportunities for wool and contributing to the development of terms of reference for the study.
She expects to go to market for a firm to conduct the feasibility study sometime in May but wishes to engage with stakeholders prior to this.
“Wool is plentiful in this country, and I am really keen to see how we can make the best of it. That is why I was so pleased to secure €100,000 for what I see as a major piece of work assessing whether or not we can develop a variety of wool products for national and international markets.”
“Good information comes from identifying the right questions, and we want to be sure we have done that. Wool is sustainable and renewable, so it makes great sense for us to see where its potential lies.”
“While its use in textiles is, of course, established, it is also an organic, low carbon, natural material, which can perhaps be used, viably, in a wide range of products such as fertilisers, insulation and packaging. I would like to know even now, before we start, where people believe the opportunities are.“
She said she expects the feasibility study, when produced, will assist her in developing a roadmap for the Irish wool industry.
“And with the help and guidance of a Wool Forum Stakeholder Group which I am establishing, I also expect it to help me to shape future policy on wool as envisaged in the Programme for Government,” she concluded.
Senator Hackett is inviting interested parties to submit:
(a) Comments on the proposed terms of reference and/or
(b) Submissions on the potential market opportunities for wool products.
The proposed terms of reference to implement the review will include but are not limited to the following:
- Identify domestic and international market opportunities for wool-based products;
- Carry out economic feasibility and cost-benefit analysis on proposed market opportunities;
- Determine mechanisms that could be used to support industry initiatives;
- Identify potential research projects applicable to supporting the identified market opportunities