Closing the Data Gap Is Key to Revitalizing the Domestic Canadian Wool Economy

16 December 2020
By Anna Hunter
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The original business plan for my yarn store in East Vancouver, Baaad Anna’s Yarn Store, was to operate on the “100-mile diet” principle. I wanted to only sell yarn and fibre that was grown within 100 miles of Vancouver. I figured it wouldn’t be that hard, as there were many sheep farms throughout the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, and no shortage of wool being grown.

Well, after about four weeks tracking down farmers and trying to set up wholesale accounts, I was faced with the fact that there wasn’t actually enough yarn to fill one shelf, let alone an entire store. I quickly changed my business plan to focus on locally dyed yarn, but that was the first moment I realized there was a serious disconnect within our Canadian wool industry.

About Anna Hunter

Anna Hunter is a first-generation sheep farmer and wool mill owner in Eastern Manitoba, Treaty One Territory. Anna, her husband Luke, and their two sons moved to Manitoba from Vancouver, BC, in 2015. She started a small sheep farm, raising Shetland sheep for their beautiful wool. In 2018 they established a small-scale wool processing mill – the only one of its kind in Manitoba. They process wool and fibre for themselves and other farmers. Anna is passionate about building community and connecting rural fibre farmers with urban consumers, fibre artists and crafters. Anna believes that regenerative agriculture and climate beneficial food and clothing is integral to moving forward as farmers, fibre artists and Canadians. To learn more about Anna and her farm/wool mill, check out www.longwayhomestead.com.

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