Over the last several weeks the COVID-19 phenomenon has grasped our attention fully as it has a direct impact on many aspects of our personal and professional lives. Many of the 2020 Spring Alpaca Shows have begun to be cancelled due to the CDC recommendations of limiting gatherings over 50 people. Although a hard decision for any board, we believe it is the correct one as social distancing is one of our best efforts in flattening out the infection rate curve.
With our fiber collections being cancelled at AOA Nationals in Indiana, PAOBA Breeders Showcase in Pennsylvania, and the North American Alpaca Show in Massachusetts, we know how important it is to offer alternatives to farms in getting their fiber out of the field and into production. We will be looking in the coming months to coordinate with affected area farms and regional breed organizations to offer solutions to help put your fiber harvest to work for the 2020 season.
NEAFP is currently up and running at 100% production and our U.S. supply chain continues to run at full capacity. We plan on keeping this pace to prepare for a strong Fall and Winter sales season while taking some necessary precautions to protect everyone here on the NEAFP team. For the time being, we will not be offering mill tours or shopping on site. We will still be open to fiber drop offs and order pickups at the loading dock by appointment. While limiting outside exposure to us here at the mill and practicing safe practices recommended by CDC and WHO, we will continue to sort through fiber submissions and ship orders at our usual pace.
With information and the situation here in Massachusetts changing daily and in some cases hourly, we will continue to keep you all updated on exactly what is going on here at the fiber pool. We encourage any of you needing to fill some gaps in your inventory to do so now and we will do our best to accommodate your needs in the weeks to come. We certainly can't predict how this event will unfold but we believe that the timing of this from a production and retail sales season standpoint could not be better for the U.S. Alpaca fiber industry.
One thing we can take away immediately from this situation is domestic and regional supply chains help build strong and resilient communities. Small scale agriculture, both for food and for fiber, help you and your neighbors thrive during times of global economic slowdowns. Your email lists, social media networks, ties to the local community, and your e-commerce platforms have never been more valuable.
As more people are home from work and school consuming 24 hour news cycle broadcasts, they could all use a little extra alpaca cuteness and charisma in their social media timelines. Now is a great time to share your alpacas and your farm through social media and give your communities, both local and virtual, a little relief. As these events play out, we will continue to offer articles and resources to help you continue to grow the fiber side of your business during these unprecedented times.
We will continue to keep everyone in the loop
and wish you and your alpacas peace of mind and body!
- the entire NEAFP Team