The controversy over selling Manx wool has taken another turn.

Earlier this year, we reported that farmers claimed they were misled by government over the appointment of a company to run the island’s wool service.

Brannach Olann, a UK registered company, was appointed as external contractor to run wool control in 2021.

Before that date, it was operated in-house by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, which collected, graded and stored the wool before sending it to the UK to be auctioned.

But the Manx NFU became involved in 2022 when many farmers complained that they hadn’t received payments on time or at all.

Now the government has done a deal with British Wool's collective marketing scheme to handle Manx wool.

British Wool is owned by thousands of sheep farmers and collects, grades, markets and sells the natural fiber, on behalf of producers, to the international wool textile industry.

Andrew Hogley, British Wool’s chief executive, said: ‘We are delighted that the Isle of Man Government has awarded British Wool this contract and look forward to delivering the same high level of service to Manx sheep farmers as our UK based members.’

Manx farmers will be given access to British Wool’s grading system, shearing training and auction, to help maximize the value of their wool, which will be sold with full traceability.

Clare Barber MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture said: ‘This is a really positive move for Manx farmers and the 120 tonnes of wool shorn on island each year.

'We are delighted to work with British Wool to ensure our farmers have an efficient route to market and receive a fair price for their hard work. I hope this will help to rectify some of the frustrations and concerns that some farmers have experienced in recent years.’

British Wool will operate two collection sites on the Isle of Man and will contact farmers in due course to explain how to register their details.

Further reading here.