The U.S. Alpaca Fiber Council (USAFC) to assist U.S. manufacturers in production, promotion, profitability and marketability of U.S alpaca fiber has announced the formation of industry centric organization focusing on processing activities associated with U.S. produced alpaca fleece.
The council consists of artisan and commercial mills, agricultural cooperatives and alpaca industry experts that are uniquely qualified to support manufacturers with their alpaca product initiatives.
In an earlier meeting held in Washington, D.C., to discuss strategies to move alpaca fleece into the national supply chain, the U.S. Alpaca Fiber Council was formed to bridge the gap between the expectations of manufacturers and the needs of the alpaca community.
Since the U.S. first commercially imported alpacas in 1984, the primary focus of the individual alpaca breeder has been to produce offspring with the finest, softest, most lustrous fleece. This concept has produced a national herd of superior fleece that is able to compete in the global market.
Today, the alpaca industry is moving forward to produce products that will be commonly found in homes across the United States and abroad.
Chris Riley, owner NEAFP and founding organizer with USAFC said that the textile industry focuses on supply chain sustainability, re-shoring and authentic brands, they believe U.S. grown fiber and U.S. made alpaca textiles could not be a better fit.
Organization founders of the council are Alpaca Coalition of America (ACOA), Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of North America (AFCNA), Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA), Artisan Mill Network, New England Alpaca Fiber Pool (NEAFP), Natural Fiber Producers (NFP), Sorting, Grading, Classing (SGC) and Suri Network.
Norm Johnson, Alpaca Owners Association (AOA), president said that the founders understand the opportunity of being at the ground floor of this very exciting industry. They all agreed to work collaboratively on a sustainable and efficient U.S. alpaca supply chain.
The mission of USAFC is to build an efficient communication infrastructure bridging the gap between U.S. alpaca growers and U.S. manufacturers by educating growers on profitability, sustainability and harvest best practices.
Benefits to manufacturing will include, sourcing, pricing, quality assurance and market analysis. The council aims to create a focal point where U.S. growers and manufacturers can develop strategies to address technology, market access and quality.
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