All Sorts Acres:
Increasing the value of Canada’s sheep industry through waste recovery
All Sorts Acres is a regenerative farm and gallery that specializes in sheep and dairy products, as well as a variety of art supplies. The purpose of All Sorts Acres’ COIL Evolve project is to explore and begin the process of utilizing wasted sheep’s wool.
Approximately only 50% of all wool shorn is suitable for yarn which leaves the remaining amount to go to waste. There are many other opportunities for cleaned wool to be used, like fertilizer, insulation, and acoustic panels. With the support from COIL Evolve, All Sorts Acres had their farm fitted to host large machinery so they can begin manufacturing wool fertilizer pellets from undesirable wool.
Strengthening the domestic market: The Canadian market produces an estimated 670,000 sheep each year. A single sheep can produce up to 10lbs of wool, meaning the domestic production of wool is almost 7 million pounds. With only 50% of it fit for commercial use, 3.5 million pounds are going to waste every year. All Sorts Acres is hoping to address the local issue in Grey County, the largest concentration of sheep farmers in Ontario. This would divert around 150 tonnes of wool and reintroduce it back into the commercial market, lessening the amount of wool and wool products being imported.
Diversifying value chains: All Sorts Acres already saves the hundreds of pounds of unused wool from their own flock and creates small batches of washed and processed wool for spinning. The goal for All Sorts Acres is to use wool like no one else. For example, acoustic panels, dog beds, felted rugs, garden felt, and fertilizer pellets.
How they made it work
All Sorts Acres has identified a number of collaborators in Grey County who all share a common goal: eliminate wasted wool. Since sheep need to be sheared for health reasons, there are millions of pounds going to waste each year.
By creating a manufacturing service, All Sorts Acres can begin turning that undesirable wool into new products, like organic fertilizer pellets. Although it is simple, the process is not easy and thus the second phase of their project is to implement a shredding machine. This will allow them to increase their capacity to take on more wool to pelletize.