Waratah Alpaca Fibre Co-operative

¨    Mission

Waratah Alpaca Fibre is a member owned co-operative of Australian alpaca farmers established in June 2018 and supplying some of the world’s finest alpaca fibre to both Australian domestic and international export markets. Through collaborative farming Waratah Alpaca Fibre can provide alpaca fleece producers with reliable markets for their fibre and maximise producer returns from the sale of this luxurious fleece.

As at November 2018, Waratah has 27 members in 3 states with members having the benefit of being able to share in the Co-op’s surpluses as well as higher prices for the supply of their fleece. Members can also purchase bale bags from the Co-op at discounted prices to non-members and the board is currently seeking expressions of interest from members in regards to the supply of feed for 2019.

Fleece type collected

Whilst the Co-op is not yet collecting Suri fleece the board is pleased to report that a small sample of Suri fleece has been forwarded to China and that it remains confident that it will be able to secure markets for Suri early in the New Year. Due to supply shortages it is thought that this fibre will attract a premium price compared to the current Huacaya prices.

Fleece colour

Waratah has found markets for all micron ranges and for all colours.

Do you offer training on your fleece preparation requirements?

To date the quality of fleece preparation by producers has indeed been varied with the better prepared fleeces attracting top dollar. Lesser prepared fleeces were charged a skirting charge to prepare the fleece for supply to the buyer.

To assist with the quality of fleece preparation by producers and to maximise to both the producer and the Co-op Waratah is also conducting fleece preparation workshops throughout NSW. Details of these workshops can be found on the Waratah Facebook page

How do you accept delivery of fleece?

To assist with collection several members have volunteered to act as collection points all over NSW with advertised collections days. These include

  • Mudgee Region - Ravenswood Alpacas – 2272 Queens Pinch Road, Meroo, NSW, 2850
  • Queanbeyan, ACT Region – Boston Fine Fibres , Burra Creek, NSW , 2722
  • New England Region – Green Gully Alpacas, 89 Bretchs Lane , Kentucky South, NSW, 2354
  • Southern Highlands Region – Coolaroo Alpacas, 471 Woodlands Road, Mittagong , NSW, 2577

Interested fleece producers should contact Mick at Waratah to discuss drop off times at any of these collection points.

Payment for fleece supplied

Having shipped its first 10 tonne container of raw alpaca fibre to China in early October the member owned Waratah Alpaca Fibre Co-operative is now looking with great excitement at supplying another 10-tonne container prior to Christmas.

The 1st 10 tonne container was indeed a huge success with 21 participating Huacaya fleece producers paid up to $28 per kilo for their supply with the Chinese buyer paying for all micron ranges and for all colours. Fleece cheques ranged from $46 to one producer who supplied 2 saddles to $52,000 for one supplier.

All freight and scouring costs were attended to and paid for by the buyer and Waratah was able to pay the participating fleece producers within 7 days of shipment and receipt of producer account details. A separate 2 tonne shipment of pieces was supplied to a local buyer to support the domestic market.

Waratah is pleased to have contracted an AWEX stencilled alpaca classer for the shipment and are hoping to employ more AWEX stencilled classers for upcoming shipments. In addition Waratah employed a total of 7 casual wool handlers who assisted the contracted classer with the classing and preparation of bales for the shipment. All of this was managed and coordinated by Waratah’s managing director, Mick Williams. For current fleece purchase prices producers should email mick@waratahalpacafibre.com.au.

To contact

Interested parties can download the Co-op’s membership form from its website at www.waratahalpacafibre.com.au. The current price list can also be found on the website or by emailing Mick Williams at waratahalpacafibre@gmail.com