November 17, 2006
November 17, 2006 - A cornerstone of America's wool industry, Forte, Dupee, Sawyer Co., is closing its doors at the end of this year, according to Rich Forte, president.
This family owned business, which was started in 1921, traded scoured and greasy wool and mohair selling mainly to U.S. manufacturers up until the last six years when its customer base turned to overseas buyers.
"We are finding the cost of handling and processing wool too expensive in the United States compared to Asia. Many overseas customers prefer U.S. wool in its grease form instead of scoured. Margins are thin and wool production is low. For these reasons, we have decided to stop wool-trading activities at the end of this year," explains Forte.
Although they will no longer be a part of the marketplace, Forte says that he was constantly reminded from his customers the need to rid the U.S. clip of polypropylene contamination.
"The industry will have to address the quality issue of polypropylene contamination at the grower level if it wants to remain competitive in the world market," he explains.
"It's unfortunate to see Forte exiting the U.S. wool market. They have bought a great deal of U.S. wool over the years, and it will be unsettling when they are no longer participating in the trade," says Rita Kourlis Samuelson, wool marketing director at the American Sheep Industry Association. Staff contact: Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ext. 29