The Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park, in collaboration with the Regional Association of Abruzzian Livestock Farmers and the State Forestry Corps L'Aquila Biodiversity Protection Office, will be continuing the Pecunia project through 2011.
Launched to promote wool from the park, the project involves farmers from the whole protected area, including producers from the Castel del Monte Canestrato and Farindola Pecorino Presidia.
Last year the park authority gathered only wool from the Merino-derived breeds Gentile di Puglia and Sopravissana. This year it has the ambitious objective of collecting at least 80 tons of raw wool, so it plans to collect wool from the shearing of any breed of sheep raised in the 44 municipalities of the protected area.
Also new this year is the establishment of a central storage and sorting center at Castel del Monte, in the heart of sheep country. This facility will serve as a hub for all the collected wool, which will be packed and stored before being sent for further processing. The project's long-term objectives are to streamline procedures and create a proper production and distribution chain.
To further this aim, the park authority has made a public announcement in the hopes of finding and selecting a group of sheep farmers who will undertake to supply their wool and follow precise standards in order to ensure its quality. Above all, they must be aware of the fundamental role they will play within the future chain, which will be key to increasing the wool's commercial value.
The initiative is aimed not only at making sure wool, a natural and ecological fiber, is properly valued, but also that it reclaims its role as a noble material and is no longer perceived as something to be discarded or a simple by-product. When properly treated, natural fibers can represent a specific territory, help small pastoral economies and support local textile artisans.
More information on Castel del Monte Canestrato can be found here.
For more information
Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park Press Office
tel. +39 0862 6052209