What’s in it for you?

Did you know?

A value chain is a system where businesses or individuals take raw products (in this case alpaca fibre) as an input, add value to the raw product through processing and sell the value added or finished products to customers. A value chain identifies each step or link necessary to produce a product, then each link is broken down into all the components required to accomplish this goal.

The Alpaca Ontario Fibre Initiative Committee is using this system to accomplish the goals outlined in the George Morris report. Each goal identified has been broken into the steps (links) necessary to develop a fibre industry. Each link has been broken down into the components required to accomplish that goal, and we are now working on implementing these goals.

Alpaca Ontario members, as individuals, can use this method of organizing your business to follow each step a product goes through from raw materials to the end user. It will link the production, shipment and distribution of the product(s) you produce. By managing the supply chain, you can deliver maximum value for the least possible total cost by keeping tighter control of inventories, products produced, distribution, sales and inventories of each product in your product line.

Once value chains are identified, alliances can be formed between producers, processors and marketers of alpaca products for the financial gain of each.

We encourage all farms to develop value chains and analyse each link in the chain to maximize your profits. If you find that you have a weak link, chances are it is costing you money.

How is this relevant to your farm?

Have you ever wondered whether changing your ration would improve overall health and fibre quality in your herd?

Here’s a simplified value chain that shows some of the possible steps to take to find out.

Step 1 — Have your hay analysed. It will give you a true picture of its nutritional value.
Step 2 — Have your grain formulated to balance your ration for protein, vitamins and minerals.

The reward is optimal animal weight and fibre quality, which increases your bottom line.

Alpacas thrive on good pasture. Are you curious about the costs and benefits of quality pasture?

Here’s a simplified value chain that shows some of the possible steps to take to find out.

Step 1 — Research alpaca friendly seed varieties for your climate and soil type.
Step 2 — Take soil samples.
Step 3 — Control weeds.
Step 4 — Fertilize.
Step 5 — Reseed as necessary.
Step 6 — Rotate pastures.

Lush pasture seeded with appropriate legumes and grasses that has minimal weeds produces healthy animals and clean, quality fibre.

You’d like to maximize your fibre harvest and the profits from your fibre. How do you do this?

Step 1 — Skirt and sort according to the Harvest Code of Practice.
Step 2 — Take courses and participate in workshops to improve skills.
Step 3— Research options and formulate a plan that works with your skills to maximize the profits from your harvested fibre.

The above are just a few examples of Value Chains.

We encourage you to:

Suggested Value Chain for the Alpaca Fibre Industry

Highlighted in the links are educational tools that can be found on the Alpaca Ontario website. These are designed to help you attain your goals.

At present, the Fibre Initiative Committee is concentrating on tools to help producers create more profit from the fibre that is being harvested.

We also acknowledge that value chains are a work in progress and there are other factors that affect quality and quantity of fibre that can be produced.

Value Chain 1 — Fibre Production

Alpaca fibre is the raw product that creates income for producers. The amount of net farm profit is determined by how far along the value chain producers choose to go in value adding to the raw fibre.

Factors that influence the quality and quantity of fibre:

Shearing skills
Work with the shearer according to the Harvest Code of Practice

Skirting/sorting skills

Value Chain 2 — Fibre sales

A: Selling raw unskirted fibre requires few skills and little input of a producer's time. It is the least profitable option on the value chain.

Raw fibre can be marketed to:

The producers would be responsible for having clean, dry fibre (see Producers’ Responsibilities in the Harvest Code of Practice).

Options to create sales are:

B: Selling sorted/skirted fibre is a value added option.

This type of fibre can be marketed to:

There are requirements to sell sorted/skirted fibre. These include:

C: Pool fibre in a co-op or corporation.

The requirements necessary to form a co-op or corporation are:

D: Process fibre and sell end products

The producer's responsibilities to sell end products:

E: Brokerage. A broker’s role would be to buy and resell fibre. There are presently no brokers in Canada.

Options would include:

A broker's responsibilities would be to:

A broker should develop contacts for sale of fibre with:

There are many ways to add value to your harvested fibre whether you plan to sell it as raw, unskirted fibre or process it into a premium end product. The more knowledge and skills you have, the easier it is to develop a value chain that will maximize your profits.

This process will help you maximize your revenue!

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Fibre Mill Directory

A & B Fiberworks
PO Box 678,    Linden, Ab.
Ph: 403 443 5907   Toll Free:    Fax: 403 443 5907
c/o Anne Goodwin-Estes

Custom Woolen Mills
R.R. 1 30453 RgRd 272     Carstairs, AB. T0M 0N0
Ph: (403)337-2221   Toll Free:    Fax: (403)337-0256
c/o Fen Roessingh

Filature de la Ferme Norli Norli Farm Fiber Mill
160, route Pierre-Laporte     Bromont, Qc
Ph: 450 534-2305   Toll Free:    Fax:
c/o Lise Pollender

Freelton Fibre Mill
950 Regional Rd. 97     Puslinch, ON, N0B 2J0
Ph: 905-659-7442   Toll Free:    Fax: 905-659-7442
c/o Ute Zell

Grand Valley Fibre Company Inc.
201215 County Rd 109    Grand Valley, Ontario L9W 0P7
Ph: prefer email   Toll Free:    Fax:
c/o Aldo & Jean Marascio

Gulf Islands Spinning Mill
351A Rainbow Rd    Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 2M4
Ph: 250-537-4342   Toll Free:    Fax:
c/o Co-op

Hidden Touch Natural Yarns
5815 Main Street    Osgoode, ON K0A 2W0
Ph: : (613) 826-2226   Toll Free:    Fax: (613) 826-0908

Legacy Lane Fibre Mill
56 Vail Court     Sussex, NB E4E 2R9
Ph: (506) 433-5604   Toll Free:    Fax:
c/o Amy Carpenter Tonning and Alyson Brown

Masters Fibre Mill
573 Humes Rd.     Richards Landing, ON P0R1J0
Ph: 705-257-1252   Toll Free:    Fax:
c/o Lorna Masters

Qualicum Bay Fibre Works
2565 Bantam Road,     Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 2A3
Ph: 250-757-8844   Toll Free:    Fax:
c/o Anna Runnings

Shears To You Fibre Pro's/Alpaca Time
5509 Hwy 9, RR #4    Harriston, ON N0G 1Z0
Ph: (519) 327-4566   Toll Free:    Fax:
c/o Deb Griffey

The Fibre Shop-Alpacas From Eighth and Mud
232 Eighth Road East,    Stoney Creek, ON L8J 3M2
Ph: (905) 643-0339   Toll Free:    Fax:
c/o John Docherty and Sharon Trent

Twisted Sisters Mill
49319B Rge Rd 234     Leduc County, AB T4X 1Y1
Ph: 780-986-5392   Toll Free:    Fax:
c/o Kevin & Leanne Sept

The Mill at Nuevo Norte
13854 County Road 2    Colborne, On., K0K 1S0
Ph: 905-269-4402   Toll Free:    Fax:
c/o Amy Kung-Oliver

Wellington Fibres
7119 Middlebrook Rd    Elora N0B 1S0
Ph: 519-846-0669   Toll Free:    Fax:
c/o Donna Hancock