Politicians from the Senedd’s four political parties recently came together to form a Cross-Party Group focused on promoting and discussing Welsh wool, and the vast potential the versatile resource has.
The inaugural meeting was attended by a range of politicians – including Plaid Cymru and Conservative parties’ rural affairs spokespeople, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS and Samuel Kurtz MS, and Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader, Jane Dodds MS. During the meeting Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru’s Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales was elected chair of the Cross-Party Group.
Speaking after his appointment as Chair of the Cross-Party Group, Cefin Campbell MS said:
“I am delighted to have been appointed as Chair of the newly founded Cross-Party Group on Welsh wool. This versatile resource is so closely entwined with Wales’s identity and history – from its role in agriculture to the historic Welsh wool industry.
There’s no denying that recent years have been a challenging time for the wool sector, however I have no doubt it has enormous potential both as a stimulus for our rural economies, and in contributing towards wider Welsh Government sustainability and climate change ambitions. I look forward to working with Senedd colleagues and the wider wool sector and stakeholders to better understand and promote these opportunities.”
The Cross-Party Group will meet around once per Senedd term, with secretariat responsibilities for the group undertaken by the Welsh Wool Alliance, who previously held an event at the Senedd in November 2022 promoting Welsh wool and the vast opportunities the fabric offers.
Jacqui Pearce, Strategic Lead of the Welsh Wool Alliance said:
“The foundation of this Cross-Party Group will help ensure the interests of Welsh wool will be at the very heart of Welsh politics in the Senedd.
Wales has the potential to be a global leader in the wool industry. We have over 3,000 Sheep Farmers and over 70 breeds of sheep – and our Welsh Hills produce 3 times more wool per annum that the USA and Canada combined. However, the supporting industry has long been in decline, with the wonders of Welsh wool misunderstood, underused and undervalued.
I look forward to the contribution this Group can make in further supporting efforts to promote Welsh wool, and drive value back into the chain from finish to farm.”
Concluding, Samuel Kurtz MS, Welsh Conservatives spokesperson for Rural Affairs and Welsh Language, said:
“I welcome the creation of the Cross-Party Group on Welsh wool and look forward to the contribution it can make in working with the Welsh wool industry, agriculture sector and other stakeholders to help ensure this remarkable Welsh resource can reach its full potential.”