Alpaca breeders are combining efforts in NSW to build a marketplace for their premium fibre products, assisted by Farming Together.
The Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program (known as Farming Together) is a two-year, $13.8 million initiative from the Australian Government.
It aims to help agricultural groups value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs.
Farming Together has been helping the 16-member Alpaca Breeders Collection since it was established in early 2017. The growers come from across NSW, ranging from Mudgee to The Rocks.
The group, formed by Angela and Matthew Smith of One Tree Hill Alpacas, Murrumbateman, processes all the fleeces in NSW and will start selling on-farm from Friday, May 12.
“The new venue allows us to showcase more of the quality garments and yarns fashioned from the fleeces drawn from across a wide region,” Mrs Smith said.
With assistance from Farming Together, the Smiths created a new website featuring the collection members: blackwattleyarn.com.au/members
“The Alpaca Breeders Collective is value-adding to a premium fibre,” said Farming Together program director Lorraine Gordon.
“Processing the fleeces in Australia, rather than South America, sends a strong message of pride in the product.”
The Farming Together pilot program is being delivered by Southern Cross University and runs until June 30.
Program delivery comprises a highly experienced senior team drawn from a wide range of commodity groups from across Australia and is backed by an industry advisory group representing experts from Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and NSW.
The farm shop will open on Saturday May 12 at 315 Patemans Lane, Murrumbateman, from noon to 4pm (officially, 1pm).