Woolkeepers® Meet The Farmers: Introducing Duncan and Catherine
At Hypnos we are committed to offering comfort with integrity, which is why we take pride in our transparent supply chain. Our partnership with The Woolkeepers® initiative and Red Tractor farming standards is just one of the ways that ensures we deliver on our mission to offer sustainable sleep for all, by using traceable British wool in our mattresses – a natural, biodegradable fibre that helps effectively manage body temperature.
Here, we’d like to introduce you to Duncan and Catherine McLaughlin, as part of our ‘Meet the Farmers’ series. The McLaughlin family have been farming at Ballabeg in West Perthshire since 1933, with Duncan taking over the reins in 1968.
“My grandfather and father farmed here before me, and I never considered doing anything else but farming. I was one of 9 and luckily no one else in the family was interested in taking on the job. I married Catherine and obtained the farm lease. We work full time on this mixed farm of cows and our flock of 250 sheep. Our family come and help at busy times like lambing time and shearing.
“A professional shearer comes in once a year to keep our sheep healthy and allow them to graze comfortably through the changing seasons I used to shear myself but with advancing years that is but a memory!
“Working with sheep gives me great pleasure, especially if I have a young collie dog to train. I enjoy working the dogs and moving sheep from pasture to pasture. Our favourite time of year is lambing. The daylight hours are stretching out and new life is appearing on the farm and all around us the wildlife is getting into top gear as well.”
Working with wool
Duncan is passionate about all things wool and works hard to ensure that his sheep are looked after as well as possible, and in turn, can produce the very best quality product:
“My sheep have the best life here with the best grazing. I can provide them with shelter on the rough grazing, no matter which way the wind blows. I feed my ewes from mid-February until the grass comes. I see my sheep every day but disturb them as little as possible. Sheep like to be left alone but need gentle supervision and care.
“I have a stock of Blackface ewes that I cross with the Charollais tup to give me my female stock for my main flock that I then cross with the Suffolk tup. The wool from the Blackface X Charollais is beautiful, fine and long with a soft feel. I feel that this is the right breed for this area especially with the weather
“Wool is such a durable product and we look forward to seeing a more positive attitude to this wonderful product.”
Working with farmers such Duncan via The Woolkeepers® initiative, sits at the heart of Hypnos’ approach to sustainable sleep and means Hypnos mattresses use the highest quality wool, and farmers receive a fair price for their wool, providing reassurance to both supplier and consumer.
Hypnos and The Woolkeepers® work with Red Tractor assured farms to ensure farming standards of care in animal welfare, land management and much more. For more information about The Woolkeepers® visit Woolkeepers.co.uk.