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An Interpretation of the Accoyo Market

June 28, 2009

bubble(1).jpgI could easily make this post a history lesson and bombard you with the story of the Accoyo herd, and it’s founder, Don Julio Barreda (1905-2006). However, I’m not sure if I can top Mike Safely’s sentimental bio about the  man who really did make great strides in Alpaca breeding, and passed away as a beloved figure of the international Alpaca community.

So, let’s get right to it and take a look at where Accoyos fit-in, in the U.S. marketplace.

In my eyes, “Accoyo” has transitioned from being used as the name of an Alpaca ranch in Peru, to a term we American Alpaca breeders use for marketing our own animals. Sources who were present at the 1993 Peruvian Import, explained to me that the breeders doing the screening wanted to select a particular Peruvian herd as the most “elite”, and market that idea throughout the United States. The top three were said to be Sollocota, Accoyo, and Alianza (in that order according to the source). Nonetheless, Don Julio Barreda, the businessman that he was, knew that we Americans would market his herd as the most supreme in Peru, IF he gave-up his first tier stock, when Sollocota refused.

And so, Barreda’s prized studs– Royal Fawn, Caligula, Legacy, Vengador, Elite, Titan, Jackpot (suri) to name just a few became THE founding fathers of the North American Alpaca herd. Not to mention, the Dams who produced offspring that would even surpass their predecessors. In the early years, these were the big names, and they were for the most part, who everyone wanted to breed to. The proof is in the ARI records which show upwards of 400+ offspring for a single stud. However, in a buyers market which is increasingly focused on simply the quality of the animal, does the name/term ‘Accoyo’ still mean anything?

The year today is 2009– more than 16 years after that initial Peruvian importation. With an out-cross breeding philosophy (mind you, the opposite strategy of Accoyo’s founder) here in the United States, is there still a reason to put so much emphasis on an animal 1/4, 1/2, or even FULL Accoyo?? It appears to me as nothing more than a marketing tactic which many breeders adopted around 2003 when the demand for those animals began to go on the rise, and in many cases sell for six-figure numbers. I’ll restrain from posting examples.

And so it might appear that I have a bone to pick with breeders whose niche is in the Accoyo market. Instead, let me be clear in stating that I am all in favor of full blooded Accoyos, and even those that sell for record-breaking prices, AS LONG as they are valued similarly to a non-Accoyo of identical quality.

I hope I haven’t opened up Pandora’s Box here; but, I would like to hear what breeders think before diving deeper on this “issue”. It’s just too easy to bring up when auction prices clearly indicate this niche market to be on a downward slope (again examples upon request).

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2009 4:57

    You are opening a can of worms here. Lol!

    While the Accoyo breeding program is tops in the world, its use in America has also been very successful with outcrossing. To stay within “full Accoyo” lines severely limits a breeders’ choices.

    I see its place in our industry as a marketing tool to sell animals rather than a master breeding plan. The full Accoyos are trendy, running in and out of favor with Buyers. I have seen them considered “not very special” on one end of the spectrum, all the way to a time when full Accoyo female cria were hitting the ground being worth $50K regardless of quality – just because they were full Accoyo.

    In 2009, at the Futurity and AOBA Auctions the prices for Full Accoyos were down so much that it seemed the animals were almost getting penalized for being full Accoyo. Since they are not the “it” thing right now, maybe it’s time for full Accoyo buyers to Buy Low. Or, has the whole fad run out its string?

  2. June 29, 2009 4:57

    Full Accoyo came into the country meaning something (top quality). With all the crazy marketing motivated breeding decisions that US breeders obsessed with over the last 8 years, its left the “accoyo” brand tattered and meaningless to most farms breeding for quality. Full Accoyos in general cannot compete in the ring with other top alpacas and , Actually, they never could.
    The “accoyo” cria mills didnt show offspring in fear of getting the gate and deeming their full Accoyo NOT valuable. So, the strategy went something like this, dont show accoyos and place a 60k price tag on them………. and newbies were buying them!
    Albeit, Accoyos have had a positive impact on overall quality enhancement of the US herd. But “full accoyos”, are like all the rest of the alpacas out there, sometimes the offspring turn out great, and sometimes they turn out awful. The awful ones should not have been used in breeding programs, but since Accoyo was so grossly hyped, the worst of the worst Accoyos still were used in major breeding programs.
    Thus diluting the brand.

  3. Cooper Smith permalink*
    June 29, 2009 4:57

    Good points you two– I agree Katy, Accoyo sale prices are definitely dwindling, especially in comparison to what they were going for. It really was quite a sight to see two-week olds with an automatic $50-60k price tag on them, just because their great-grandparents were from the Accoyo herd in Peru. The name Accoyo certainly has had a “prestige” halo that was arbitrarily placed on all it’s descendants. Everyone associated did a great job “branding” the line, but I think this small market has run its course.


  1. Peruvian vs. Chilean vs. Bolivian… Definitely Peruvian. « The Alpaca Guy
  2. Parade of Champions Sale – Auction Analysis « The Alpaca Guy
  3. They DO Exist- An Elite Full Accoyo « The Alpaca Guy

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