The Conference & Updates

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Tabitha from Tabandy farm

Tabitha Bilaniwskyj-Zarins is owner, wool producer, entrepreneur and educator at Tabandy Farm in Candelo New South Wales in Australia. She is also an TV Personality and Member of the Australia Fibre Collective.

With her unstoppable energy, she will join the conference from the land down under and we in the project team are so happy to have her. Although the conference focus on issues in the Baltic Sea Area, we think we have something to learn from many places in the world. The image of Australia as one of the leadings wool countries in the world, is not fully true. Yes, it is one of the most productive countries when it comes to the number of sheep, producing wool and with an infrastructure around wool that we, at least here in Sweden, might envie. But – the lack of processing and manufactoring local wool in Australia was the fact that lead to the processes of a change by some. Australian Fibre Collective wanted to strengthen the collaboration amongst woolproducers and make a trademark om wool grown and manufacturered in Australia. Tabitha will have a talk about this togheter with Trish Esson, who we will introduce separately.

Tabitha with family have run sheep on their farm for nearly 20 years. She has been a spinner for 30 years and over the past 13 years has established a small wool business that has led to many entrepreneurial adventures such as hosting workshops, regular appearances on River Cottage Australia television series, and presenting ‘artist in residence programs’ in schools with children from preschool age through to highschool.

Tabandy Farm are passionate about wool and their 80 sheep which comprises a variety of sheep breeds for all types of wool their customers enquiries are diverse. The Farm sells online, to retail outlets, to high schools and at markets. Also, as mentioned above, Tabandy Farm is a member of Australian Fibre Collective. Tabitha was an inaugural board member. 

Meet Tabitha at the conference – register here!

Baltic Wool Conference

7-9 October 2021

The Gotland Region believes that there is a great deal of knowledge and a great potential for development around the wool business in Gotland. Partly in entrepreneurship, but also locally in the micro industries. We would like to contribute to the development of the wool industry. We strongly believe this conference in the long term will contribute to many of our strategic focus areas. It will be a visitor occasion in October, it will lead to development of the wool industry and it will strengthen craftsmanship and a living cultural heritage.

Nils-Erik Selin, Head of growth and development, Region Gotland

The National Swedish Handicraft Council (NFH) is a government agency under the Ministry of Culture with the task of promoting handicrafts. Important partners for the Authority’s work are the country’s regions, civil society organizations and other cultural authorities. Priority areas include sustainability, cultural and creative industries as well as working with the intangible cultural heritage.

Since the autumn of 2018, a national developer has been focusing on sustainability and wool issues at NFH. The goal is an agenda for how the wool issues, like classification and infrastructure, should be solved at national level together with various actors and authorities. This is done in the form of seminars, conferences and networking, both within Sweden and abroad. The initiative “Baltic Wool Conference” is part of the work to promote the Swedish wool industry, create new contacts and opportunities for further development together with the countries around the Baltic Sea.

Annkristin Hult, National Developer

The Rural Economy and Agricultural Society Gotland, which hosts the Baltic Wool Conference, works for developing business in the countryside. Lamb production is an important industry in Gotland that provides both tasty lamb meat, shimmering lambskin and wool for many uses. Grazing animals keep the landscape open and provide biodiversity. We believe in the development of the Swedish wool industry in collaboration with our neighbors around the Baltic Sea.

Mats Pettersson, CEO of Hushållningssällskapet Gotland