After carrying out a small feasibility study around the possibility of growing European merino wool earlier, the European Outdoor Group (EOG) is currently in funding negotiations with the German Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food to let the project come live. According to EOG’s sustainability manager Katy Stevens, “it is likely that the funding application will be successful.” For the realization of the European merino wool project, the group is now looking for brand partners (who may contact Katy Stevens at the EOG directly).
The following arguments speak in favor of breeding Merino sheep in Europe:
- Decarbonization requirements
- Fewer air miles due and the potential for near-/re-shoring
- The regenerative potential of wool growing
- Local sequestration
- Animal welfare and the uncertainty around the phasing out of mulesing in Australia
- Increased transparency
- Current opportunity in the agricultural and farming industry due to continued pressure as meat consumption continues to reduce and farmers look to move away from meat production
- Policy and building of EU Economy
As funding is currently tied to the German authorities, potential partners must either be based in Germany or at least operate an office in Germany.