Nothing ever stays the same!
That statement is constantly burned into my brain. No matter how dependable, how durable, how certain something is, it seems that the only certainty in this life is that nothing is certain.
Looking at the box stores, Woolworth, J.C. Penney, Sears, Montgomery Ward, and Ames have all had their day in the sun. They each had been the top of their game. Each has since dwindled or even ceased to exist. Nothing stays the same!
The fur trappers and ranchers have have been rocked this year with the recent news that the North American Fur Auction (NAFA) is out of business. As the financial wizards try to sort out the assets, creditors, debts, and so on, many fur trappers are wondering where to market their pelts. The season is upon us and the largest wild fur auction house, after hundreds of years, has ceased to be an option.
When talking about the international fur industry, I have little information. Most of it is way above my pay grade. Still, I feel I can offer some hope for the fur trapper.
Let’s look at some of the facts. First of all, NAFA is out.
Secondly, NAFA’s demise is not the demise of the fur market. The consumers wanting fur products, and the businesses which make those fur products, are still there.
Finally, economics and practical observation show us that when there is a demand, large or small, the supply will be found to fulfill that demand. That means even if one channel (NAFA) is eliminated, other channels will expand or open.
Nature and economies abhor a vacuum. When there is a gap in the fur supply chain, things will happen to fill that gap. As that gap shrinks, there will be accessible channels for our wild fur to be marketed.
Already, existing fur collectors have shown an expansion in the territories where they will buy fur. After all, who doesn’t want to expand their business? This was an immediate response to the NAFA situation.
As time moves on, new businesses to sell fur will surely open. It is possible that even the oversea buyers will take advantage of the temporary gap in the supply chain. They may cut out the NAFA-type middlemen and expand into buying direct from trappers, themselves.
Even though the immediate season will see some chaos and market shake-ups, the next several years will surely find the trapper-to-consumer chain strengthened and the void made by NAFA’s end filled.
As for me, I’ll be trapping as usual. I have confidence what I catch will find a new home! •