OUTCOMES AND STANDARDS
The Woolkeepers initiative is a quality assurance platform which recognises assurance standards in agriculture and textiles.
Woolkeepers is a creative platform used to narrate the movement of wool from farm gate to shop front. It does not carry out inspections.
All of the wool which runs through the Woolkeepers supply ecology is subject to random audit & inspection from 3rdparty assurance schemes. The two recognised 3rd party certifications are Red Tractor Assurance and GOTS and both offer traceable wool by using a chain of custody.
We are also mindful that some rare breeders, or small flock farmers, choose to be defined by their outcomes instead of standards. We work closely with them to understand more about positive animal welfare schemes which are scored using continuous improvement systems.
To be involved in positive animal welfare schemes please contact us.
Red Tractor is the UK’s biggest farm and food standards scheme, covering the full farm supply chain including animal welfare, food safety, traceability and environmental protection. They are a small, not-for-profit company, set up by the food industry in 2000 after a spate of foodscares. The Red Tractor logo provides a simple signpost for consumers to identify food that has been produced in the UK and comes from a trustworthy and safe source.
While historically Red Tractor has focused on responsible sourcing for British food and drink, over the years they have seen value in sharing their experience of supporting traceable value chains in other farming sectors. As a result in 2019 Red Tractor developed an additional set of standards, in partnership with wool experts H.Dawson, which for the first time tracks the wool journey from Red Tractor assured farms to shop front.
H.Dawson and Brannach Olann champion the best of British fibre sourcing and Red Tractors traceable wool assurance has been designed to add real value back into the wool industry, so that there’s a recognisable industry standard which farmers can be benchmarked against and paid a premium for.
Together with these new wool traceability standards, the Woolkeepers Initiative aims to nurture relationships between shepherd, flock, wool, community and manufacturer to bring value back into British wool
We narrate the story of our organic wool growers through the Woolkeepers ™ initiative. H.Dawson, Brannach Olann and the farmers certify organic wool through recognised agricultural and textile standards.
Organic certification provides authenticity that the wool being used is organically grown and processed. With people increasingly looking for transparency in what they buy, certification is becoming essential for retailers. To be certified organic, the supply chain of a raw fibre from field to finished product and wholesale must be certified at every touchpoint to ensure it meets a set of standards.
Farmers grow wool organically by following the EU organic regulations, covering both food and farming. Wool is processed organically following the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This standard is the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres. The Soil Association are the certification body that we use to audit GOTS standard.
Key facts about GOTS
- GOTS approved products must contain at least 70% organic fibre content
- GOTS approved products never contain potentially harmful chemicals which can be found in conventional textile production
- GOTS approved companies are better for the environment (by managing their environmental impact, have high social standards, reduce energy and review water usage)
- GOTS means safe working conditions, no discrimination and no child labour
- GOTS approved products have the entire supply chain verified, even the farms must have certification to a legally recognised standard.
- The details matter – buttons, threads, zips have to meet strict residue criteria of GOTS
- It is a voluntary standard