The Ministry of Livestock distinguished the Regional Consortium for Ultrafine Wool Innovation of Uruguay (CRILU for its Spanish acronym) for achieving the international distinction “Innovagro 2015”. The group is made up of the National Agricultural Research Institute (INIA for its Spanish acronym) and the private sector. “It’s scientific innovation introduced in Australian Merino sheep reinforcing competitiveness and increasing profitability,” said director Fabio Montossi.
The statuette was presented yesterday during the Red Innovagro international seminar at Santiago, Chile.
In the formal ceremony, INIA’s CEO, Fabio Montossi, stressed that it is an international award given by 76 members from 13 countries and the Uruguayan consortium competed with more than 70 organizations from 10 Latin American countries.
He explained the importance of scientific research that drives the INIA alongside private producers to ensure the positioning of Uruguay in sheep production so as to place in the international market products -derived from wool- differentiated from the competitors’.
He explained that the research and technology transfer actions take into account factors such as breeding, reproduction, nutrition, animal health, wool preparation, handling, animal welfare, processing and industrial evaluation, as well as the manufacturing of clothing products.
“The consumer we are targeting is willing to pay more for a type of production that respects animal welfare, environmental care and biodiversity” highlighted Montossi, adding that it is always easier to obtain higher prices for finer wool than for both medium or coarse.
“15 or 16 micron wool is not a product that loses value, it just happens that sometimes it may be worth more or less, nor is it detrimental to have larger animals. It is possible to adopt a well paced genetic improvement plan with good quality meat from animals weighing between 65 and 70 kilos, “he said.
CRILU is a non-profit public-private partnership created in 2010 and consists of 42 livestock producers, rural organizations and INIA. The main objective is to coordinate and complement capacities between producers and representatives of the textile-wool industry and scientific-technological organizations in order to promote sustainable development of production, processing and marketing of ultrafine Uruguayan wool.
The 42 producers within CRILU have their estates in the basalt area of the country, covering more than 120,000 hectares – some have 200, others 3000- and with 180,000 sheep, with producers with from 800 and others with over 10,000 sheep.