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SGS in New Zealand Introduces Online Alpaca Fleece Testing Services, Tailored to Breeders’ Needs

Agri Trade HighlightsFibersJune 24, 2021

We are proud to introduce our comprehensive online alpaca fleece testing services, dedicated to the specific needs of breeders and farmers.

two white alpacas




What Our Customers Need

Understanding the different characteristics of alpaca fiber is essential for breeding strategies. Fiber testing is a tool that helps to validate the content of a graded bale of fiber and can guide decisions on how to transform the quality of fleeces that a herd is producing.

Fleece testing technology allows breeders to track the overall progress of their selection programs. The determination of average fiber diameter can be used to identify the best end use for the fiber and also provides key information for purchasing decisions.

Fleece testing also benefits breeders by giving them the ability to understand what their animals and their fiber are worth in the selling process. Information is key in the trading environment, and objective fiber assessment is a crucial path to achieving that.

What We Offer Alpaca Breeders

Our New Zealand based fleece testing laboratory has been running since the early 1990s, working with sheep and alpaca breeders from around the world to produce only the finest quality fiber. The SGS online store allows you to make online purchases of testing services from our laboratory, so your business can be faster, simpler and more efficient.

SGS in New Zealand was working with Yocom McColl laboratories until its owners retired in 2020. We are keen to assure alpaca breeders who previously used this service that we continue to use Yocom-McColl’s testing technology.

With our Yocom-McColl micron by OFDA 100 service, fibers are measured only from the base of the staples. This represents fiber growth that is unaffected by animal management and environmental variables and thus more precisely indicates the breeding potential of the animal.

In addition to Yocom-McColl fleece testing services, we also offer mean fiber diameter/length profiles by OFDA 2000, where full staples are scanned and the length is measured at the same time. The average micron is then calculated from the measurements across the entire sample. The diameter/length profile information aids in animal management.

Our yield service involves samples being washed and dried in a controlled laboratory environment, resulting in a clean dry fiber content percentage.

We have also developed a specifically designed service package for members of the Alpaca Owners Association (AOA). Each package includes data transmission to the AOA Expected Progeny Differences (EPD) server. The EPD is a rating derived from 10 traits that correspond to a value index for individual animal measurements, created by the AOA.

We’re making it possible for both buyers and sellers to achieve their desired quality and quantity with certainty and helping our customers to be confident that they can select animals efficiently.

Lynn Edens, owner of Snowmass Alpacas and Accoyo America said, “We operate a 1600-head alpaca breeding operation and rely on accurate, timely phenotypic data to help make breeding decisions and support animal sales. Working with SGS, we’ve received the annual histogram analyses of our alpacas’ fleeces almost before we’ve cleaned up from shearing – and in advance of the start of our breeding season. SGS makes us better at what we do.”

Our wool testing laboratory in New Zealand is ISO/IEC 17025 accredited and is licensed by the International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO) to provide IWTO Test Certificates. It provides the backbone of our quality system, which guarantees international credibility. Independent sampling is available globally via SGS’s extensive network of offices.

Our customers receive convenient, affordable fleece testing services simply by paying online, and then having test results automatically delivered straight to their email inbox.

The SGS Team

SGS Team in NZ

SGS’s team in New Zealand has been at the helm of this business for over a decade. These are our experts who will be looking after your samples:

  • Ioasa Kosena, Laboratory Operations Manager
  • Jeremy Wear, Business Manager
  • Brad Rowland, Customer Services Manager

To start your journey to more informed decisions and valuations of your animals, visit our online store today.

For further information please contact our customer service team.

Download Fleece Testing OFDA100 Histogram Report Definitions >

About SGS

We are SGS – the world's leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. Our 89,000 employees operate a network of 2,600 offices and laboratories, working together to enable a better, safer and more interconnected world.

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  • SGS Headquarters

1 Place des Alpes,

P.O. Box 2152 1211,

Geneva Switzerland