Wool marketing body Ulster Wool has announced changes to its producer haulage charges ahead of this year's shearing season.

A spokesman for Ulster Wool said: "In order to further support producers we are enhancing the service offering with onward haulage charges at all approved collection sites, from this season, being abolished."

The body urged farmers to continue supplying their wool, as reduced quantities last year had caused a negative effect on the scale of economy of operating costs.

Acting chief executive Andrew Hogley said: “Throughout the pandemic the Ulster Wool depot and collection sites remain open in a Covid secure manner and we continue to accept all types of wool from all producers, a principal which lies at the core of our cooperative ethos.

"Abolishing the onward carriage fees for approved collection site demonstrates our commitment at Ulster Wool in delivering a high level of service and also enhancing our service offer to producers.

Hogley added: “A small number of producers chose to hold on to their wool last year. This meant we handled less wool which had a negative impact on our operating cost per kilo.

"The more wool we handle the more cost-effective our operations become which in turn allows us to return more value to all producers. With this in mind, please encourage your colleagues in the farming community to support Ulster Wool and deliver their wool this year.”

Details on producer payments and 2021 producer information and wool values will be announced on Friday, May 14.