North Wales sheep men form co-op

By Simon Wragg

PLANS to increase income for sheep producers in North Wales were unveiled at the Sima International Show, Paris this week by new farmer co-operative Snowdonia Lambs.

The co-op will take lambs from across north Wales, said director and treasurer Bryn Edwards, both live and deadweight, using some livestock markets as collection centres.

Members will pay an initial £100/holding membership fee and an annual administration fee of about £15 a year.

A bank has been appointed to handle the co-ops finances and payment will be guaranteed, he added.

Individual producer returns will be based on quantity and quality of stock put through Snowdonia Lambs and not an averaged price. Yearly trading surpluses will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

“Theres a big gap between market and retail prices, and therefore plenty of scope to pull market prices up by cutting out the middle men,” added Mr Edwards.

The co-op hopes to secure EU cash for marketing should north Wales be granted Objective 1 status, which means it is deemed to be most in need of financial assistance to help reinforce rural communities and businesses.

“Weve already had a positive response from trade people coming to the Meat and Livestock stand. They like the idea of dealing with co-ops and I hope we can do business with them,” added Mr Edwards.

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