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Increasing competitiveness of high quality European animal textile fibres by improving fibre quality

Contract nr: FAIR-CT96-1597
Project nr: 1597
Project type: ST
Starting date: 01/01/1997
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 600,000 EUR
EC Contribution: 600,000 EUR
Scientific Officer: Michel VAN DEN BOSSCHE
Research topic: Speciality products
Acronym: European speciality animal fibre

Background:
Speciality fibre production systems have a number of important advantages over existing livestock systems:

  • fine wool, mohair, cashmere and angora are non-food, high-quality products, processed in large quantities in Europe, but are currently only produced on any scale in non-European countries;
  • quality fibre production from sheep and goats offers an opportunity to extensify production systems to a much greater extent than traditional dairy- and meat-based systems;
  • extensive ruminant systems for fibre may be used to manage vegetation in isolated areas to prevent the damage caused by brush fires and to improve wildlife habitats.

Objectives:
The objective of the project is to increase the quality of European-produced speciality animal textile fibre through the widespread dissemination of a new technology to increase fibre quality more accurately and rapidly.

Description:
The new technology, Optical Fibre Diameter Analyser (OFDA), will be disseminated through a network of researchers, producers' associations and manufacturers involved in the production of fine wool, mohair, cashmere and angora.
In particular, OFDA will be used to measure fibre quality in:
a) genetic improvement programmes for each of these speciality fibres in Europe; and
b) grading of fibres for presentation to processors and manufacturers.
The application of a common technology across Europe will ensure accuracy and comparability between countries through the development of a central database for fibre breeding schemes and a common measure of fibre quality in the grading of fibres for processing. The network will be established in nine European and affiliated countries.
In addition to a coordinator and group leaders for fibre measurement technology and genetic improvement schemes, each country will be represented by a Network partner located in a leading centre of research who will lead Network operations in that country. Coordination of the work will be achieved through the medium of workshops to agree common standards and protocols, a newsletter, and mobility of technical personnel for lectures and training courses.
The Network will:
1) enhance the dissemination of state-of-the-art fibre measurement technology and ensure comparability between fibre analyses in different countries, which is a key element in the future development of the European speciality fibre industry.
2) establish common European protocols for measuring fibre traits in breeding programmes for different fibre types.
3) improve the competitiveness of European producers of speciality animal fibres by establishing clearly defined, market-led quality objectives, grading and presentation standards and the creation of new information channels between producers, industry and research.

Current situation/results:
The OFDA technology proved to be a highly effective tool for measuring objective fibre qualities within the context of the breed improvement programmes for cashmere, fine wool and mohair. Common approaches to data recording were agreed and published, and will serve as a blueprint for future breeding programmes to follow. The collected information on fibre parameters is now in a standard format, and protocols for sampling and analysis, are likewise standardised. This is a great advance for European fine fibre breeding, as it allows an unprecedented level of co-operation between national breeding schemes, and provides a greatly enhanced resource for genetic research on fibre traits. The links between some of the breeding programmes will be continued beyond the end of the project. In particular, there are agreements to collaborate between the French, Danish and British mohair breeders; British, Spanish, Norwegian and Italian cashmere breeders; French, Norwegian and Finnish angora rabbit breeders; and German, Finnish, British and Spanish fine wool breeders. These agreements were facilitated and strengthened by scientific exchanges supported by the Thematic Network.
The project ended in December 1999.

Website: http://www.mluri.sari.ac.uk/~mi573/


Coordinator
John Alexander MILNE
Macaulay Land Use Research Institute
Craigiebuckler
UK-AB9 2QJ Aberdeen
Tel.: +44 1224 31 86 11
Fax: +44 1224 31 15 56
E-mail: MI1O5@mluri.sari.ac.uk / J.Milne@mluri.sari.ac.uk



Partners

  • Nils STANDAL
    NLH Agricultural University of Norway
    P.O. BOX 25
    N-1432 Ås
    Tel.: +47 64 94 80 00
    Fax: +47 64 94.79 60
    E-mail: Nils.Standal@nlhlo.nlh.no

  • Daniel ALLAIN
    I.N.R.A. Cr Toulouse
    Station d'Amelioration Genetique des Animaux
    BP 27
    F-31326 Castanet Tolosan
    Tel: +33 5 61 28 51 71
    Fax: +33 5 61 28 53 53
    Email: allain@toulouse.inra.fr

  • Joern PEDERSEN
    Danish Agricultural Advisory Centre
    Udkaersvej 15
    Skejby
    DK-8200 Aarhus N
    Tel.: +45 86 10 90 88
    Fax: +45 86 10 97 00
    E-mail: Jop@lr.dk

  • Koldo OSORO
    Centro de Investigacion Aplicada y Technologia Agroalimentaria
    Apdo 13
    E-33300 Villaviciosa
    Tel.: +34 98 589 00 66
    Fax: +34 98 589 18 54
    E-mail: KOLDOOO@princast.es

  • Jose VALDERRABANO
    Servicio de Investigacion Agraria
    Ctra de Montañana 176
    P.O. BOX 727
    E-50080 Zaragoza
    Tel.: +34 97 657 63 11
    Fax: +34 97 657 55 01

  • Raffaele CELI
    Università degli studi di Bari
    Via Giovanni Amendola 165A
    I-70128 Bari
    Tel.: +39 080 544 28 20
    Fax: +39 080 544 28 22
    E-mail: celir@agr.uniba.it

  • Luis PINTO DE ANDRADE
    Escola Superior Agraria
    Quinta da Sra de Mercules
    P-6000 Castelo Branco
    Tel.: +351 27 224 45 8
    Fax: +351 27 232 88 81
    E-mail: luispa@esa.ipcb.pt

  • Peter HORST
    Universität zu Berlin
    Lentzeallee 75
    D-33 Berlin
    Tel.: +49 303 147 11 20
    Fax: +49 303 147 14 26

  • Franz-Josef WORTMANN
    Deutsches Wollforschungsinstitutan der T.H. Aachen
    Veltmandplatz 8
    D-52062 Aachen
    Tel.: +49 241 446 91 18
    Fax: +49 241 446 91 00
    E-mail: 100426.3126@compuserve.com

  • L. NURMINEN
    University of Kuopio
    Department of Applied Zoology and Veterinary Medicine
    PO Box 1627
    FIN-70211 Kuopio
    Tel.: +358 16 433 3116
    Fax: +358 16 433 3116
    E-mail: lnurmine@messi.uku.fi
 
 
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