Wool & Mohair
BKB is the product of a large number of wool and mohair brokers, who over the past one hundred years have amalgamated into one organization. BKB markets an excess of 62% of the South African wool clip and 35% of mohair produced.
BKB practices centralized selling for both wool and mohair in Port Elizabeth. During the selling season weekly sales are conducted for wool and biweekly for mohair.
BKB’s warehouses are equipped to collect samples of both wool and mohair for objective measurement by the South African Wool Testing Bureau. The warehouses are also equipped to press wool and mohair to high density for shipment. Sophisticated computer installations ensure a quality service to producers and buyers for the handling of wool and mohair from the point of receipt to the day of delivery.
BKB strives for contamination free wool and mohair – from shearing shed to sale floor. BKB subscribes to the South African National Wool Growers Association’s wool classing standards.
BKB wool & mohair operations are operated under ISO 9001:2008 specifications.
“The true origin of the Merino remains a mystery, hidden forever in the shadows of time, but the evidence of their importance and value shines brightly across the centuries. The wool of the Merino has both shaken and shored national economies. It has lured adventurers and inspired the growth of far flung colonies.”
(Heritage Merino – A history of greatness by Malcolm McCosker)
South Africa was the first country outside Europe to own Merinos. This history dates back as far as 1789, when the Netherlands government donated two Spanish Merino rams and four Spanish Merino ewes to Col. Jacob Gordon, the then military commander of the Cape, to experiment with.
The Merinos were at first the property of the Spanish king, who had the sole right to send Merinos out of the country. He sent a number of sheep from his well-known Escoriale Merino flock as a gift to the House of Orange. The sheep could not adapt to the high rainfall in Holland and thus became the property of Col. Gordon. He immediately saw the possibilities of the race and decided to keep the race pure on the Company’s farm, Groenkloof, 55 km from Cape Town.
During 1791, the colonel received an official request from Holland to return the Merinos because they evidently should never have been sent to the Cape. Fortunately for the future of the South African Merino, he only returned the original number and kept the offspring here, which are regarded as the basis of the Merino in South Africa.
SA Mutton Merino
The first Mutton Merinos were imported from Germany to South Africa in 1932 by the Department of Agriculture. Through the years, the build and the breed were improved by selecting better wool, without doing injustice to the good mutton characteristics.
Today, the SA Mutton Merino is the third largest sheep breed in South Africa, produced in all nine provinces. Adequate proof of its excellent cross-breeding potential is that it is the paternal breed of three South African breeds: the Dohne Merino (SAMM crossed with Merino), the Dormer (SAMM crossed with Dorset Horn) and the Afrino (SAMM crossed with Afrikaner/Merino).
The breed is especially known for its outstanding tender, juicy and tasty mutton quality. The breeding was aimed mainly at good maternal characteristics with an excellent reproduction rate and the ability to rear twins.
In 1939, it was decided to initiate experiments at the Dohne Agricultural Research Station, aimed at the development of a woolled mutton sheep which would be well adapted to prevailing climate and nutritional conditions. High fertility and sufficient milk to allow for fast growth of lambs were considered prerequisites for such a breed. In addition, a substantial quantity of wool without hair, coloured fibers or kemp and a quality which would not detract from the South African fine wool clip, were required. Regular lambing in both autumn and spring was favoured.
German Merino rams were obtained from the Stellenbosch-Elsenburg College of Agriculture from 1939 onwards and crossed with Merino ewes. The development programmes were always closely associated with the Dohne Agricultural Research Station; hence the origin of the breed name.
BKB is the product of the merger into one organisation of a large number of wool and mohair brokers over the past hundred odd years.
BKB markets approximately two thirds of the South African wool clip and more than 35% of the mohair production. Centralised sales of wool and mohair are offered during the sales season at scheduled auctions in Port Elizabeth.
Fibre Handling infrastructure is centralised in Port Elizabeth. This warehouse is fitted with equipment to take wool and mohair samples for objective measuring by the Wool Testing Bureau of SA (WTBSA). Wool and mohair are also pressed to a high density for shipment. Sophisticated computer systems ensure a quality service to producers and buyers for the handling of wool and mohair from the point of receival up to delivery.
BKB strives for contamination-free wool and mohair from the sheep’s back to the processor.
BKB is the only broker that is ISO 9001:2008 registered and applies the South African National Wool-growers Association’s wool class standards.
Through the years, BKB has refined its wool and mohair handling procedures as well as determining the valuation price. In the process has built up so much expertise that the producers can rest assured that the marketing of their products are in safe hands.
Up to 1974, every bale of wool was displayed at four major export harbours for the buyers to view. The wool traits were appraised subjectively by means of the hand and eye method. Since then, objective and additional measuring has been applied. Grab samples of the bales are taken and the style, type and appearance appraised by BKB experts. At the same time, the core sample is sent to the WTBSA for analysis, where it is measured according to international testing procedures to determine: the fibre diameter; clean yield; the percentage vegetable matter, colour, length and strength. The aforesaid factors are used to determine the actual value of the wool. The officials at the export harbours who appraise and market the wool are highly trained and competent people.
It has been proven that wool processors are prepared to pay more for wool, where the length and tensile strength have been determined scientifically. Knowledge of the exact tensile strength enables the processor to accurately calculate end results.
The flow process
BKB has some of the most modern equipment in the world to handle wool and mohair in the most cost efficient way.
When wool or mohair is received from the farmer, it is first conveyed over an electronic scale that is connected to a computer and then goes to the objective measurement floor, where the necessary samples are taken for objective testing. From here it goes directly to the high-density shipping presses, which press the bales to such a density that 96 bales can easily be loaded into a six meter container. In this way a considerable saving on shipping is affected.
The Australians press their wool post-sale whereas BKB does it pre-sale. This has the advantage that the wool can be shipped sooner after it has been sold, saving a lot of time and money on handling, storage and interest.
All the wool or mohair available for sale is entered through a computer onto a catalogue, which is available to all approved buyers.
The catalogue contains all the technical details of each lot of wool to be auctioned. During the compilation of the catalogue technical personnel keep a record of the quality of clip preparation. This information is later communicated to the producer in an attempt to empower them to improve preparation and obtain a better price in the future.
Before an auction, BKB fixes a valuation price for each wool or mohair type. The price is based on: the price fetched at previous auctions for similar types; taking into account fluctuations that have taken place in the exchange rate; the price similar wool types fetched in Australia during the same week; as well as market trends, based on information received daily from different parts of the world.
As soon as the valuation price has been fixed, BKB contacts the producers concerned whose wool must be sold and discusses the valuation price with them. The farmer has the final say about what he wants to do with his wool. He can leave the decision of selling the wool to the discretion of BKB or he can place a reserve price on it. BKB is then bound by that price. After the auction, BKB can exercise certain options on unsold wool.
The buyer pays BKB within five working days after the auction and BKB pays the farmer on the same day as receiving payment from the buyers.
SABS ISO 9001:2008
During March 1999, the much sought after ISO 9002 registration was awarded to BKB and were we once again successful in upgrading to the revised ISO 9001:2008 quality management system in September 2012. (ISO stands for International Standards Organization.) BKB is still the only wool and mohair broker in South Africa whose quality management system complies with the strict internationally accepted ISO 9001 requirements.
The importance of quality within a business environment cannot be overemphasised. International competition requires a supplier of products and/or services to place foremost this commitment to quality. Quality control therefore becomes a strategic business tool by means of which market share can be expanded, while maximum return is ensured. The quality management system also ensures the protection of BKB’s image.
Reasons for the initial implementation of ISO 9001 are mainly due to the fact that it assures customers that the company has a good and effective quality management system in place, resulting in the meeting of both local and international customer expectations. The implementation of ISO 9001 has proven over the years that it leads companies to better operations, improved performance and improved profitability.
Increased productivity results from the continual evaluation and improvement of processes that occurs during and since the implementation process, as well as from improved training and qualification of employees.
Customer satisfaction improvement is seen as goal and objectives take customer needs into account. Customer needs are better understood as customer feedback is sought, received and analyzed. Goals and objectives can therefore be adjusted based on this information and the organization becomes more customer driven. All of this leads to financial rewards.
The advantages of ISO 9001 registration are:
Well defined and documented procedures improve the consistency of output.
Quality is constantly measured.
Procedures ensure that corrective action is taken wherever defects occur.
Defect rates decrease.
Defects are caught earlier and corrected at a lower cost.
Increase in sales or revenue as organizations retain or increase market share.
Access to new markets.
BKB’s aim in obtaining the ISO 9001:2008 registration is to ensure the international wool trade of the high-quality and low-risk product that BKB supplies to its buyers, and to emphasise BKB’s business approach of increased international competitiveness. This registered quality management system means peace of mind to all the wool and mohair producers who market their products through BKB with regard to the international acceptability of their products. In the long term it is essentially an action to the advantage of the South African fibre trade.
Port Elizabeth Wool Marketing
The Port Elizabeth wool-marketing offices are situated in North End, approximately 5 km from the city centre. The building was erected in 1927 and covers approximately 114 000 square meters.
The following files and documents are available for download:
BKB is the product of a large number of wool and mohair brokers, who over the past one hundred years have amalgamated into one organization. BKB markets an excess of 62% of the South African wool clip and 35% of mohair produced. BKB practices centralized selling for both wool and mohair in Port Elizabeth. During the selling season weekly sales are conducted for wool and biweekly for mohair. BKB’s warehouses are equipped to collect samples of both wool and mohair for objective measurement by the South African Wool Testing Bureau. The warehouses are also equipped to press wool and mohair to high density for shipment. Sophisticated computer installations ensure a quality service to producers and buyers for the handling of wool and mohair from the point of receipt to the day of delivery. BKB strives for contamination free wool and mohair – from shearing shed to sale floor. BKB subscribes to the South African National Wool Growers Association’s wool classing standards. BKB wool & mohair operations are operated under ISO 9001:2008 specifications.
Angora Goats In 1839, the Mosenthal family first imported angora goats from Turkey. The region in Turkey where the goats came from is called Ankara or Angora, hence the name ‘angora goat’. These goats, two ewes and one ram arrived, accompanied by their Turkish handlers. On arrival in Port Elizabeth, it was discovered that the ram had been sterilised prior to leaving Turkey but one of the two ewes was later found to be pregnant and gave birth to a ram kid, which was the start of our South African Mohair clip. An interesting fact is that in 1988 there were 2,9 million angora goats which produced 12,2 million kilograms of mohair.
BKB Mohair – Market Reports
The following files and documents are available for download: