The substantial increase in demand for Australian alpaca fleece has led Australian Alpaca Fleece Limited (AAFL) to make an urgent request to members of the Australian Alpaca Association Inc (AAA) to send all available fleece.
"The demand for fleece of all types, colours and qualities has markedly increased in recent months, especially white and light fawn in all grades and lengths from fine to strong," said Mr Michael Talbot, Managing Director, AAFL.
"This increase in orders by new and established manufacturing partners is a reflection of the increasing demand and acceptance of Australian Alpaca product both in Australia and overseas. Even though world alpaca fleece prices are still low, there are now signs of increasing international demand as reflected in our recent sales which have been well in excess of budget," he said. Over the past few months, AAFL has developed several value-adding ventures to generate a better return than can be achieved from raw fleece sales alone.
New business initiatives involve supplying a chain of duty-free shops catering to the rapidly growing Chinese tourism market in Australia, and a new range of socks produced for Pussyfoot to be sold both nationally and internationally. Alpaca fleece has even been featured in Jo Sharp knitting pattern books sold in Australia and the USA. Australian Alpaca is being used in manufacturing in New Zealand in a large range of brushed throw rugs, scarves and knee rugs in a variety of colours that will be sold in New Zealand, the USA and Australia. Hence the Australian AlpacaMark is now really becoming an international symbol.
The Australian Alpaca Association currently has in excess of 2,100 members and there are approximately 85,000 alpacas in Australia. Australian expertise in wool growing and the implementation of breeding programmes is resulting in an extremely sought after product. Australian Alpaca fleece is being used in products such as bedding (quilts, pillows and under-blankets), home wares, men's and women's fashion garments, knitting yarns and even carpeting.
To find out more on the Australian Alpaca industry and the benefits of alpacas as livestock visit www.alpaca.asn.au