The annual Northwest Alpaca Showcase is in Washington this week, for a competition – as the local CBS News reports – for the highest quality fleece award.
Alpacas fleece is used in the making of high-end apparel…
The breeders say some of the alpacas cost as much as seven thousand dollars to breed with.
But the return is definitely worth the investment.
I will take this opportunity to point out, once again, that alpaca fleece may be wonderful in a thousand different ways, but even selling at the highest price point, the average alpaca farmer is unlikely to earn more than $80 per year from selling fleece.
As this 2011 study found, that is less than half the annual maintenance cost of an alpaca – not to mention the “seven thousand dollars” investment noted in the CBS report. Some might say that is a simple oversight, while others might say it is a pretty important metric.
An yet others might say, “Gee, if there were only some other use for those alpacas ….”