Letter: A change of gear for hill farmers

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your report of the plight of hill farmers in Cumbria ('Hill farmer faces struggle for survival', 9 February) made sad reading. It was curious to learn that the principal market for hill fleeces was, until recently, China. Two ideas suggest themselves amid the helpless gloom reported by your

correspondent.

Clearly there has been heavy over-dependence on the Chinese market. Perhaps the disbanding of the Wool Marketing Board will see the birth of an imaginative go- getting consortium of hill farmers (from Wales and Scotland as well as Cumbria) scouring the world (including the former Communist bloc) for markets?

How about prompting a market? The Chinese might like a different sort of woolly coat, now that they've gone off their old Marxist jackets. It just needs a Cumbrian designer, the local MP, and a Chinese entrepreneur to get together, perhaps in the Penrith Arms.

Yours faithfully,

ROSALIND INGRAMS

Garsington, Oxfordshire

10 February

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