November 11, 2010 — The North American alpaca industry is meeting to discuss an industry-wide
initiative to support the increased growth of a domestic alpaca fiber market. Over the next
18 months, these individuals will coordinate the start up this initiative.
The Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA) is hosting the initial meeting on November
19, 2010 from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at their headquarters in Nashville, Tenn. More than
30 people are scheduled to attend and more than a dozen more will join via a webinar.
“The alpaca industry is a diverse industry,” said Claudia Raessler, who serves on the AOBA
Board of Directors. “There needs to be an industry collaboration to move a business model
forward and through which industry participants can come together to create a viable market for
One possibility is for the new organization to take advantage of a legal entity designed as a
low-profit, limited liability corporation (L3C). An L3C, sometimes called a for-profit with a soul,
is a flexible investment vehicle that promotes collaborative projects between non-profit and
for-profit businesses. This organizational structure also encourages potential investment
opportunities for resources such as private foundations that had not been available previously.
The organization, designed to leverage existing industry expertise, will focus on the
development and promotion of projects that can be developed through a unified, cohesive plan.
This will benefit individuals and organizations in the business and ultimately the industry as a
“In addition to the commercial fiber industry, there is a thriving cottage industry,” said
Raessler. “This initiative will also increase their access to marketplace.”
Anybody can participate in the initiative as a shareholder, from individual producers to
large associations. The levels of investment will determine how much return the investor may
receive on his investment. The level of investment does not, however, dictate governance
control. Representatives of all investors will “have a seat at the table,” regardless of how much
they invest or industry size.
November 19th’s meeting will serve as an open discussion forum during which an understanding
for possible business models will be discussed and the industry collaboration will be established.
Posted November 16, 2010
Source: Alpaca Owners & Breeders Association