Robert, Vivienne, Edward, William and Anthony Bell

Central and Southern Hawkes Bay , RHR and VF Bell Partnership

The Bell brothers, Edward (29), William (28) and Anthony (27), sons of Robert and Vivienne Bell, are the youngest in attendance at the Primary Wool Co-operative Annual General Meeting but this doesn’t appear to faze them. This is their Co-operative, their industry and they want to be sure they are involved and have a say in its future.

Like many of the other farmers in attendance at the AGM, these men have inherited a passion for farming from generations that went before them. Their father Robert very passionate about farming and its future.

This mutual passion has translated into a successful partnership. The RHR and VF Bell Partnership farms about 7,000 Romney sheep in central and southern Hawkes Bay. With good rainfall and medium to steep hill country that ranges from 1,000 – 2,500 ft., the weather and the terrain determines their farming lifestyle.

Primary Wool Co-operative

The Bells joined Primary Wool Co-operative four years ago when their wool representative moved to Elders Primary Wool. Elders Primary Wool is the joint venture between Elders and Primary Wool Co-operative. The Bells believe that agriculture have an important part to play in agriculture.

These young men value the opportunity to attend Annual General Meetings and the contribution they can make to the future of the co-operative and, in many ways, the industry.  “Wool is a sustainably produced versatile product so an effort must be made to prepare it to a high standard to capture the benefits of Just Shorn,” says William

“I also appreciate the connection and accessibility of the directors and Primary Wool staff. It’s invaluable,” says Robert.

The Bells all approve of the direction Just Shorn™ is taking. “When we joined we were keen to be a part of the carpet and wool industry beyond the farm gate and Just Shorn™* is doing just that,” Robert says. The family appreciates the work invested to connect the company with American connections. They recognise the reality that this type of program is a slow process as synthetics are strong competitors, woollen carpet is a niche product and the American carpet market is challenging to enter.

*Just Shorn™ is an international brand development programme started by Elders Primary Wool that strives to raise awareness and demand for wool carpet in the USA. Learn more here.