2 Oct 2009

Pitt Island wild sheep brand to be launched

8:40 am on 2 October 2009

A Banks Peninsula farmer is getting ready to launch a new brand to market the wool from his Pitt Island wild sheep.

Roger Beattie says he now has about 3,500 of the sheep which he's been raising on two organic farms on Banks Peninsula.

He says the Pitt Island sheep come from a Saxony-Merino base, but over 160 years they have developed as a separate breed.

Their wool fits into the mid-micron range but has more curvature, he says, which means it traps more air, making it a light but very warm.

Mr Beattie says he's negotiating with commercial interests to process three wool products, including a new wool-possum fur blend.

He is involved with the Wool Advancement Group which is pushing for funding to help market new wool products.