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GOR Woollen Mill set to be one of the largest in Australia under expansion plans | The Courier


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An alpaca farm and woollen mill’s transfer to Ballarat will add a highly-regarded ‘paddock to product’ enterprise to the area and create a brand new tourism drawcard. Great Ocean Road Woollen Mill, now generally known as GOR Woollen Mill, is within the means of relocating its alpacas to Burrumbeet and organising new equipment in Delacombe. The transfer from the enterprise’s earlier residence in Ecklin South close to Timboon was pushed by a should be on an even bigger web site to maintain up with demand for his or her alpaca fibre and be positioned nearer to their buyer base. Owners Nick and Isabel Renters have had an enormous week beginning to unpack seven crates of recent wool processing equipment from Italy at their Delacombe manufacturing unit. They stated they’d been patiently ready for the supply that was initially meant to reach in November however was delayed as a consequence of COVID-19 and delivery. “It is a big expansion,” Mr Renters stated. “COVID hit and we got really busy… We were struggling to keep up with demand and thought we needed to expand somehow somewhere and decided to take the leap.” Mr Renters stated the brand new tools would permit the enterprise to extend its output 4 to 5 instances and turn into the third largest woollen mill in Australia. “To do that we needed a lot more power than we were able to get on our Ecklin South property and we were also going to be needing staff to assist us,” he stated. “We had been in Ballarat before and really love it here. There is a huge craft community already in Ballarat and a lot of our customer base is in the district. It really made sense. “Hopefully over the following three weeks we are going to get every little thing unpacked, put in and commissioned and be in operation come early May.” RELATED COVERAGE: Great Ocean Road Woollen Mill steps up move to Ballarat The Delacombe factory is a new home for the woollen mill’s new machinery which has capacity to processing large quantities of wool and wool blends. The long-term plan is to set up a second processing site at Burrumbeet with machinery that requires less power capability and can process small quantities of fibre that can be traced back to a single alpaca. “You can have the yarns of Evie who’s standing on the opposite aspect of the shed,” Mrs Renters said. Mr and Mrs Renters are waiting on the outcome of a planning application with City of Ballarat to build a home and woollen mill on the site, expecting the result to come through in a few weeks. They plan to live on the site, which will make it easier to care for sick and elderly animals, including a 19-year-old alpaca who has no teeth and needs supplementary feeding. They hope to make the set-up completely off-grid and create a tourism and education centre, allowing people to see the alpacas and how the wool is processed. “In a world that’s changing into extra environmentally conscious and is questioning off-shore manufacturing, what higher method to spotlight what can and must be finished domestically,” a planning permit report said. “Previously, a lot of Australia’s alpaca clip was despatched to Peru for processing after which into the world yarn market making traceability and different such credentials just about inconceivable.” Customers will be able to visit the property to see the alpacas, learn about how fibre is processed and purchase yarn and products like beanies and scarves. Mr and Mrs Renters said they hoped to achieve this vision by summer. They said they have felt so welcome in Ballarat and loved that many people in the community were excited by their business venture. “We are very keen about what we do and prefer to take folks alongside on these journeys with us,” Mrs Renters said. The couple’s venture in alpaca farming and wool processing began after they moved to Ecklin South for a tree-change. Wanting livestock on their large property, over time they realised they loved alpacas. Mr Renter said it was difficult to find someone to process the fibre from their alpacas and the more they looked into it, they realised lots of fibre from alpacas all over the countryside was going to waste. “We thought we might soar in. In 2015 we had our first lot of kit come from Canada and ever since then it has been residing and studying and understanding what would work for us,” Mr Renters said. “Once we began making yarns to retail we discovered an actual hole within the market as a result of there usually are not quite a lot of Australian-made yarns.” Mr and Mrs Renters met in Thailand volunteering after the 2004 tsunami, later married and lived in Warrnambool, where Mr Renters had grown up. Mrs Renters is originally from Germany and had previously lived in England. If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat’s story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.

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