New Value to Wool: Innovative Garments for Preservation of Sheep Landraces in Italy
Department of Economics, University of Foggia, 71121 Foggia, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Felice Adinolfi, Marcello De Rosa and Jorgelina Di Pasquale
Received: 4 February 2021
Revised: 2 March 2021
Accepted: 5 March 2021
Published: 8 March 2021
Animal landraces are historic local breeds often characterized by low production levels, so that their economic sustainability is often threatened and the risk of extinction is high. In Basilicata, southern Italy, a sheep landrace jeopardized of extinction is Gentile di Puglia. Thus, the study aimed at investigating the feasibility of a possible conservation strategy for such landrace based on the innovative use of its wool for the production of quality garments, so as to give new value to wool and allow further income to farmers. The results highlighted a possible good demand for such products, so as to reduce the difference in gross margin between Gentile di Puglia and the standardized intensively-farmed Comisana, from 57% to 3%. Such economic performance could be further improved by widening the set of fashion wool garments produced, so as to make the Gentile di Puglia even more preferable than other high-production breeds.