The pink net wrap initiative to raise breast cancer awareness – a separate campaign from the pink silage films – has raised approximately £10,000 this year, and is set to continue in future.
The idea started in the US, explains net wrap specialist TAMA’s technical manager Graham Robson. TAMA is the exclusive manufacturer of the binding film used by John Deere cotton harvesting machinery to wrap bales of cotton. In 2013, an American cotton-growing customer whose family had been affected by breast cancer, came up with the idea of substituting the yellow product for a pink wrap with a built in charity donation, to both increase awareness of the disease and raise funds to help in its research effort.
TAMA Europe, based at Andover, was taken by the idea, and decided to produce a special pink coloured net wrap for some of its European markets for the 2015 forage season. The pink product is supplied exclusively in the UK through the major agricultural wholesaler United Farmers which distributes through farmer co-operatives and buying groups. UF says the pink net wrap sold very quickly, with many customers actively demanding it despite the charity premium.
This year has seen TAMA’s black and pink edge-to-edge netwrap product sold in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia and parts of Germany. The company will again have it on sale in 2016, with the addition of markets in France and Poland.
Mr Robson estimates that over £10,000 has been raised by TAMA for breast cancer funds in the UK this year. This is quite different from the pink silage films that have also featured in UK fields and farms this year, supplied to UK merchants and distributors by other manufacturers that picked up on the TAMA initiative.
Such was the interest in the campaign that TAMA found farmers and users were happy to contribute more through charity auctions on top of the donation per pink roll sold – for example an auction at the Royal Welsh Show this year saw £800 paid for 3 rolls of pink netwrap.
The company is donating the monies raised in 2015 to a series of regional charities rather than a national body, reflecting the fact that the funds have been raised from local rural communities, says Mr Robson.