ALPACA fibre is one nature’s wonder fibres and the Federal Member for New England and Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce said with the industry in a consolidation phase the future is as marvellous as the fabric that can be produced.
Mr Joyce, speaking from the lawns of Parliament House said the celebration of the Australian Alpaca Week indicated a pivotal time for alpaca producers as it moved towards a whole of animal production system.
Mr Joyce was accompanied by his Parliamentary colleague Opposition Agriculture Spokesman and electorate neighbour, the Member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon at the Alpaca muster in Canberra.
“The industry has grown to a national flock of about 150,000 animals since 1988 and its producing quality fleece and genetics,” Mr Joyce said.
He said the introduction of artificial breeding techniques like embryo transfer would allow the industry to produce larger numbers of high quality animals.
It was this availability of quality seed stock that had gained world-wide interest.
“Currently Alpaca fibre is used by textile manufacturers in the United States, Europe and United Kingdom.
“Now the industry in Australia has developed links with Turkey and in a short time we should have protocols formalised with China which will allow exports to that massive market.
Mr Joyce and Mr Fitzgibbon were able to meet two young alpacas, named Joycie and Fitzy in their honour as part of the Alpaca Muster.