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6 to 8 of April of 2011

Following an earlier “Wools of Europe” meeting in May 2010 in conjunction with the international Merino assembly in Rambouillet, RBI was represented at the “European Wool Handling” meeting in Oropa, Biella, by June Hall* who has reported on the outcome of the event. The 3-day meeting (6-8 April 2011) was organised by Consorzio Biella the Wool Company** and ATELIER-Laines d’Europe***, and attracted 70 delegates from 12 countries, including governmental representatives from Italy, UK and Spain, a representative from D-G SANCO of the European Commission, and a representative of the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO).

The immediate item of interest was the new regulation EC1069/2009 (and the associated regulation EC142/2011) which relates to the classification of greasy wool as a category 3 animal by-product, rather than a speciality product, with the associated biosecurity implications. Large inconsistencies in the application of EEC regulation and its interpretation at local national and regional level became very evident during the meeting. A proposal to create a European Wool desk was accepted and will be implemented.

* June Hall, the RBI representative, is associated with ‘The Wool Clip’ and the annual Woolfest in northern England, and has close links with Lithuania and Estonia.
** Consorzio Biella is a non-profit company comprised of wool producers and processors in Biella.
*** ATELIER-Laines d’Europe was founded in 1989 and its members cover a broad spectrum including breeders, processors, scientists and historians.

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