MED Laine

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One third of the Italian wool production comes from Sardinia, which is traditionally an agricultural and farming region. Sheep farming represents a significant activity in Tuscany (IT) and Corsica (FR) - Mediterranean regions which are socially and economically closely connected with Sardinia.
The value of the sheep fleeces however has declined so dramatically that until recently it was no longer profitable in these regions to shear the sheep for their wool which became a waste product rather than a source of income.
In the light of the disastrous situation in this traditional sector, MED-Laine was launched to revive the wool business and find commercial outlets for sheep farmers in these regions of France and Italy.
Behind MED-Laine stands a partnership centred on CNR-Ibimet - Italy’s National Research Council’s Institute of Biometeorology - which has expertise in applied research on natural fibres and wool in particular – and brings together a grouping of regional authorities, research bodies and chambers of commerce specifically selected to integrate scientific and technological expertise into regulatory decision-making and ensure maximum sustainability.
Launched in May 2009, a programme of actions has been developed by MED-Laine to revitalise a tradition-driven sector in Corsica, Sardinia and Tuscany by introducing innovative tools and methods derived from research. A primary goal has been to promote production and marketing innovation in the micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises which produce traditional high-quality products in the agriculture, handicraft and tourism industries. Three different but related lines of intervention were targeted: wool, native plants and rural tourism.MED-Laine’s first key action was to explore new ways for this sector to improve production, usage and market opportunities. Tests carried out on wool and traditional textiles showed that a wide range of technological and commercial properties were still unexplored and likely to open new business opportunities and applications for wool. The project has promoted greater supply chain efficiency with widespread dissemination of information to wool producers, manufacturers and retailers. New methodologies have been developed and applied to wool production and management.