Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru’s Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales has called on the Welsh Government to commit to using Welsh wool as insulation in future housing developments.
Speaking during Wool Week, Plaid Cymru’s Spokesperson for Agriculture & Rural Affairs, Cefin Campbell recognises the challenges the wool industry has faced over the past 18 months.
In particular, he cited the previous decline in the wool market during the coronavirus pandemic that saw many Welsh farmers paying around £1 to shear a sheep, with a return of about 20p per fleece of wool.
Whilst the market has recovered somewhat, many farmers continue to face uncertainty. In order to boost the market for wool Cefin Campbell has called for Welsh Government to consider alternative ways of supporting the industry – and in particular utilising its role as insulation in future house building programmes, including its retrofitting scheme.
Earlier this year, the Welsh Government outlined its commitment to double its spending on social housing to £250 million this year, with the aim of building 20,000 new low carbon homes during this Senedd term.
In response to his question, Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, expressed the Welsh Government’s support for the sector, and assured Mr Campbell that the Minister for Climate Change, who has responsibility for housing and retrofitting, has held discussions with the sector to further such proposals.
Cefin Campbell MS said:
“Wool from the Welsh hills and mountains in particular is widely recognised as a high quality, sustainable product. With the increasing attention given to climate change and improving our environment, I have no doubt that the Welsh Government could further support the industry by using this versatile and plentiful resource in its future housing developments and retrofitting programme – thus securing greener homes, much-needed support to our farmers, and providing a vital contribution towards the Welsh Government’s environmental and economic goals.”
“I certainly welcome the fact discussions have been held between Welsh Government and the sector, and I will continue to press Ministers on the matter, so that the Welsh wool sector can enjoy a much needed boost.”