Sheep farmers are hopeful a roadmap for the Irish wool industry will be developed through the wool feasibility study launched by Minister of State for Biodiversity and Land Use Pippa Hackett.

Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association (ICSA) sheep chair Seán McNamara welcomed the study on Tuesday.

McNamara noted that the study follows on from the Irish wool steering group, which his association formed in early 2020.

He said: “The group comprised of leading figures in the Irish wool industry and has been focused on charting a way forward for the wool sector.”

Potential demand

The wool feasibility study is “a very important review, as it will investigate the potential demand in domestic and international markets for wool-based products,” according to ICSA organics chair Fergal Byrne.

He said: “It is hoped that this review will help to develop a roadmap for the Irish wool industry.

“Through the work of our own wool steering group, we in [the] ICSA certainly believe there is massive potential for the sector, and the time has come to realise that potential.”

The ICSA highlighted that a member of their steering group, Chris Weiniger of Donegal Yarns, will be part of the group now undertaking the Department-supported feasibility study for the wool industry.

Both McNamara and Byrne said they looked forward to working with the group undertaking the study. A report on the findings is expected to be completed by early 2022.