Natural Fiber Alliance
The project will research:
- Fiber farmers products,
- Analysis of the current USDA sheep/wool census,
- Right side supply chain players,
- Product development.
The main research questions are:
- The quality and quantity of wool produced in Minnesota,
- The quality and quantity of wool for use by right side supply players,
- Barriers and opportunities for a wool product made with Minnesota wool.
- Fiber Farmers
- Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- University of Minnesota
- Minnesota Lamb & Wool Producers
- Renew the Countryside
- Faribault Woolen Mill
- Whole Foods Coop
- Determine the amounts and types of fiber that buyers have amassed or producers would be willing to make available for a joint project such as this.
- Develop contracts to protect all parties and provide flexibility required for this early development stage of the product.
- Determine which processors would be willing to work collaboratively with the NFA to develop a product for which they have the capacity. Determine their needs, e.g., final sales volumes, margin, fiber types they can handle.
- Compile a list/database of designers who can help with branding, packaging, and advertising.
- Compile a list/database of designers who are familiar with natural fibers and interested in product development.
- Evaluate potential sales outlets for the products and determine their needs (sales volume, variety, exclusivity, margin).
We would like to do further research and product development that will give the Natural Fiber Alliance the information and application to expand the markets for fiber farmers.
We will measure success by:
- Research that identifies, addresses and educates the farmers of the barriers of the current fiber markets and expansion of markets.
- Application of the research to the development of a pilot product with Minnesota based industries that will add value to the fiber farmers product.
RSDP Mary Page Community-University Partnerships Fund - $7500; SWRSDP - $2000; SERSDP - $1500; CRSDP - $1500
Project start date: 01/2015
Project end date: 12/2017