The British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB)
The British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) was established in 1950. Its powers are laid down under the British Wool Marketing Scheme (Approval) Order 1950 (the 1950 Order) and the Agricultural Marketing Act 1958.
The BWMB operates a statutory monopoly on the purchase and sale of all UK fleece wool (except in the Shetland Isles).
It arranges for its collection from producers and its storage, grading and sale at auction.
Wool is not a supported product under the Common Agricultural Policy nor, following the ending of the Wool Guarantee in 1993, under domestic legislation.
In 1993 the Wool Guarantee – under which farmers were guaranteed a fixed price for their wool – was ended. Returns to farmers are now based on the price that the Board achieves at public auction less the Board’s own administrative costs.
With the ending of the Guarantee, the Board’s activities were placed on a wholly commercial footing and since 1993 it has been entirely financed by producers.
The majority of Board members are elected by producers but two are appointed by the UK Agricultural Ministers acting jointly.
The 1950 Order specifies 10 “regions” and one member is elected for each region by the producers in that region. Northern Ireland comprises one region.