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Beyond the Bale : December 2014
OFF FARM 13 • The Loro Piana Record Bale award has this year been won by woolgrowers Pamela and Robert Sandlant from Victoria. • Their winning bale of 11.1 micron Merino wool was the finest bale of wool entered into the competition from all Australian and New Zealand entrants. • AWI partnered with Loro Piana at the award event to recognise the commitment and professionalism of Australian woolgrowers who constantly work to improve the quality of Merino wool. The Loro Piana Record Bale has been won, once again, by Victoria’s ‘Pyrenees Park’ owners Pamela and Robert Sandlant, who were awarded for producing the finest wool bale in Australia of 11.1 micron. Every year Loro Piana encourages Australian and New Zealand woolgrowers to take part in the challenge, which is judged by a panel formed by the presidents of the Australian Superfine Wool Growers’ Association and the director of the New Zealand Stud Merino Breeders Society. The panel certifies bales of wool with respect to specific weight, length and strength standards. The finest of the bales allowed in the competition is awarded as the winner. AWI has partnered with Loro Piana since 2011 in the award event, as a way to help promote recognition for the commitment of Australian woolgrowers’ to growing wool of an extremely high standard of fineness and quality. The award ceremony this year fittingly took place in the same state in which the winning fleece was produced, Victoria, at the Mansion Hotel in Werribee Park, a property that was built in the 1870s by pastoralists, Thomas and Andrew Chirnside. Loro Piana hosted the event which was attended by Loro Piana Deputy Chairman, Pier Luigi Loro Piana and Loro Piana CEO, Matthieu Brisset. “This award celebrates the professionalism, the skills and the passion so typical of these farms,” Loro Piana Deputy Chairman, Pier Luigi Loro Piana, said. “Thanks to their constant efforts, the wool industry can count on a quality and fineness that was inconceivable 10 years ago. It is indeed two microns lower compared to those days.” Loro Piana established the Record Bale Award in 2000 to promote quality by supporting breeders in their pursuit of excellence. The competition involves Australia and New Zealand, the world’s main producers of Merino wool, and awards the win to the finest bale from the two nations produced in the course of the previous year. The Loro Piana Record Bale Award invariably sets an annual record, which is often also a world record. Every record bale is archived by Loro Piana. Until a finer wool bale is purchased, the previous one cannot be used. A bale weighs on average between 90 to 100 kg, which is also the minimum lot that can be transformed into fabric, suitable only for a few dozen made-to-measure suits. Numbered and marked by an exclusive label, the wool fabrics created with the record bale are absolutely unique. 11.1 MICRON BALE WINS LORO PIANA AWARD Rob Sandlandt (left) showing some of his Merino fleece to Laura Loro Piana, Pier Luigi Loro Piana and Matthieu Brisset on a visit to Pyrenees Park prior to the award ceremony. Merinos at Pamela and Robert Sandlant’s property Pyrenees Park in Victoria.