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Wool Industry Commits to Sheep Welfare Standards

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Marking the eighth anniversary of the Campaign for Wool, the first ever Wool Conference took place at Dumfries House in Scotland on Friday the 9th of September 2016, where His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Patron of The Campaign for Wool, presided over the signing of the Dumfries House Wool Declaration.

The declaration is a promise by The Campaign’s Commonwealth funders, British Wool Marketing Board, Australian Wool Innovation / The Woolmark Company, Cape Wools South Africa and The Campaign for Wool New Zealand to commit their time, efforts and talent to promoting the natural benefits and properties of wool.

Integral to the declaration is the commitment to upholding and enforcing the ‘Five Freedoms of the Sheep’ the strictest standards of animal welfare as embodied in the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) specifications for sheep welfare.

Said Peter Ackroyd, COO Campaign for Wool and President of IWTO, “In subscribing to the Dumfries House Wool Declaration, the wool industry and its members commit to care about the welfare of the wool sheep and the environment it lives in. This declaration formalizes the standards the complete wool pipeline aspires to.”

His Royal Highness was met with a standing ovation as he committed to a further five years as Patron of The Campaign for Wool stating: “I am going to do everything I possibly can to build on the success we have achieved, thus ensuring that wool receives proper recognition for all its wonderful, natural attributes.”

The Campaign was begun eight years ago to combat tumbling wool prices, declining numbers of sheep and sheep farmers, and a rise in synthetic fibres. Since The Campaign began sheep numbers have stabilized and wool prices have increased, as has morale throughout the industry.

Two hundred delegates and 27 speakers representing the complete wool cycle and including farmers, wool merchants, carpet manufacturers, established fashion, carpet and interior brands and emerging design talent from The Prince’s Trust attended the event. The programme focused on sustainability, animal welfare and responsible consumerism.

Conference guests at this gathering of international wool experts, many of whom were IWTO members, included Marks & Spencer CEO Steve Rowe; British designer Sir Paul Smith; Paolo Zegna, chairman of Ermenegildo Zegna; Nicholas Coleridge CBE, President of Condé Nast International and Chairman of The Campaign for Wool; Allan Savory, President and Co-Founder, The Savory Institute; Alan Folwell, Chairman of Adam Carpets; Livia Firth, Founder and Creative Director of Eco-Age and super model David Gandy, the face of Marks & Spencer, and Olympic medalist Max Whitlock, who performed a routine on a dining table in a Paul Smith wool suit (pictured above).

IWTO was represented by Secretary General Dalena White, President Peter Ackroyd (also COO of Campaign for Wool), Vice President Piercarlo Zedda, Treasurer Wolf Edmayr and Board Member Klaus Steger.

Source: IWTO

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