One of our core values since we opened our doors in 1997 is to keep commercially processing alpaca fiber as easy and straight forward as possible on the farm's end. You grow the fiber, manage and promote your farm and we handle the logistics of taking raw alpaca fiber up the value add chain to create products ready for re-sale to the general public.
First Things First
Getting started with NEAFP is as easy as placing your first order with us. We do not require an application or membership fee to get started utilizing our service. If you haven't already, Register for a Shopping Account to get started. We approve all qualifying accounts within 1 business day.
We offer two price points, Fiber Pricing and Wholesale.
Fiber Pricing takes into account the raw fiber contribution towards the purchase and is cheaper than Wholesale. This will always be the best price point for alpaca farms contributing fiber towards their purchase. Each product listed in the Fiber Pricing category has it's $ Cost + Fiber Grade & Weight requirement listed at the bottom of the product description.
We also offer a Wholesale price point for alpaca farms and retailers who sell more finished goods each year than their herd can support in fiber production. Wholesale is more expensive than Fiber Pricing but it doesn't require raw fiber to complete the purchase. All of our products listed in the Wholesale category are listed at the price point that doesn't require a fiber submission.
Utilizing Fiber Pricing
There are two main ways farms can take advantage of Fiber Pricing. Farms can place an order, payment will be processed and it'll be marked as “Waiting on Fiber.” Farms will receive the fiber grade and weight requirement totals for their order and instructions on how to mail the fiber for the order in to NEAFP. Once the fiber arrives it will be verified by our sorters and the order will be released for shipping.
The second option is for farms to register for a Fiber Bank account which allows them to send all their fiber in at once, usually after shearing season. With fiber already banked, farms can place orders at fiber pricing throughout the year and the fiber requirement will automatically be deducted from their existing fiber bank balance. This speeds up order fulfillment as we ship right away and not after the required fiber arrives. It also cuts down the amount of fiber shipments a farm has to send in to us throughout the year. A Fiber Bank account also allows you to take advantage of a Fiber Collection at an Alpaca Show or dropping your fiber off at a Regional Collection Point.
Our goal is to keep fiber grading as straight forward as possible on the farmer's end. Our system is designed to be simple to understand while identifying the areas of the alpaca with different levels of fineness and staple length. We ask that all farms submitting fiber keep it separated into the three basic grades, based on how it comes off during shearing, each animal is producing 3 bags of fiber during shearing. Fiber should be sheared, kept separate by basic grade and color (for each animal!), and quickly skirted to remove pit & brisket fibers, vegetable matter, and short cuts under 1.5” in staple length. We will accept fiber that comes in unskirted but farms must know that there will be a higher percentage of loss when our sorters remove the unusable fiber and debris. Contamination is the number one reason otherwise perfectly processable fiber is rejected so check our our Fiber Harvesting Guide to help increase your usable fiber yield.
Basic Fiber Grades
Once your fiber arrives our sorters will sort through it and check it into your account. Depending on the overall quality of the fiber and the age of the alpaca, some fiber may be up or downgraded from how it was originally submitted. Overall fineness, % of strong primary fibers (guard hair), staple length, tensile strength, and % of contamination are all taken into account by our sorters when working through your fiber. We provide our sorter's notes when updating your fiber bank account to help you understand your fiber and better prepare future submissions. We also have begun taking pictures to pass along as examples of fiber that has been up or downgraded, or discarded.
NEAFP DOES NOT require fiber coming in to us to be pre-sorted. We sort everything that comes in house to our own standards so save yourself the extra time and cost.
Whether you are shipping your fiber in, dropping it off at an alpaca show or regional collection point, the most important thing is for it to contain the proper documentation. Deposits into the Fiber Bank should include a Fiber Bank Deposit Slip and fiber sent in to complete an order Waiting on Fiber should include a copy of the invoice. Proper identification will ensure your fiber gets sorted through and checked in to your account as quickly as possible.
You can create one master Fiber Bank Deposit Slip with the total poundage of all grades of fiber you are submitting and include 1 copy of the slip in each box mailed in to us. This will save you in creating deposit slips for each individual bag of fiber in the shipment.
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