Preserving the wool industry has to start with farmers. In order to do so, they improved their methods to add value to their herd’s wool.
François Mantes has been a breeder since 1991.While this vocation came to him as a child, he soon realized that he particularly enjoyed the milk related farming. He started as a dairy cow breeder in Aveyron. Suddenly he visited a sheep dairy sheep farm located on the Causse Méjean which he felt was an incredible opportunity. Over 10 years ago, he came back to the Cévennes – his family’s home region – to start a new adventure.
At the initiative of the Cévennes National Park, a group of 5 breeders decided to promote the wool produced by their herd – the local sheep,of their Lacaune sheep – a natural and renewable raw material – which had hitherto been neglected. Their first major difficulty was to learn about the needs of the entire wool sector, which allowed them to discover a wide variety of professions. They then undertook training with technicians from the Cévennes National Park on each stage of the processing chain and more particularly on how to feed the ewes and sort the fleeces so that their production is as qualitative as possible. Today, the limited number of breeders involved in the valorisation of the fleeces of their herds limits the quantity of wool available for processing, while more than 6 million sheep are reared in France.
Find François Mantes’ testimony on the web series published on the Made in France Première Vision website for the TRICOLOR project.