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Swakara pelts down at Copenhagen

Dagmar Honsbein, the General Manager of Agra ProVision reported back to the farming community in the South on the recent Swakara auction in Copenhagen.

Dagmar Honsbein, the General Manager of Agra ProVision reported back to the farming community in the South on the recent Swakara auction in Copenhagen.

After the first major international Swakara pelt auction in Copenhagen earlier in April, a team of experts from AGRA ProVision presented the auction results to producers at a meeting in Keetmanshoop last week.
Producers were keen to learn why, despite a very weak exchange rate, the average price has decreased by 12.37% compared to the auction of a year ago.
The information session which was opened by Agra board member and Swakara producer, Leon van Wyk, was attended by producers and prospective producers. Van Wyk thanked Agra ProVision for bringing the results to the producers, and for their continuous effort to grow the industry. “As a producer, you always need to be prepared to find out what the market needs. Only then can you produce products that the market will consume.

Therefore, we thank AGRA ProVision for assisting and guiding us in our plight,” he said.
Dagmar Honsbein, the General Manager of Agra ProVision gave a presentation on the latest fur trends and the global acceptance of Swakara. Reflecting on the international fur shows that took place before the auction, she stated that Swakara is a high fashion item and Swakara clients are generally satisfied with the end product.  However, other furs such as seal skins and mink still face challenges, and it was reported that mink decreased with at least 45% since December 2013.
 Speaking on the auction results, she said “it is noteworthy to mention that international market forces determine the pelt price and with the absence of certain buyers, it negatively influenced the prices.”
In her presentation Honsbein highlighted strategies that will enable producers to optimize their returns from pelt sales. She said, “You (the producers) should always strive to produce top quality pelts, and this begins with selecting the right genetics, taking good care when splaying pelts and increasing on productivity. Only then can we avoid the ongoing situation of buyers requesting to buy outside the auction at a cheaper price.”
Wessel Visser, Agra ProVision’s Manager of Social Business and Services presented a comparison of the April auction and the previous six auctions (dating back to April 2011).
He showed that the average price for spotted Swakara continues to decrease. Since April 2013, the price for spotted pelts has decreased from N$500 to N$200.
He reiterated Honsbein’s request to producers to  produce more quality pelts in diverse colours. He also mentioned that top quality is always awarded and the AGRA/Kopenhagen Quality Award will be continued and reviewed.
In general, the producers where satisfied with the feedback and committed themselves to increase production and quality. Agra sees its information sessions as a part of its social responsibility programme and this goes hand in hand with Agra ProVision’s role to reach out and empower stakeholders in agriculture.
Agra ProVision offers interactive information sessions every two months to facilitate networking and brainstorming among individuals from various sectors in the government and private industry on agricultural topics.

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