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Beyond the Bale : December 2014
ON FARM 35 The Wool Selling Systems Review (WSSR) has been commissioned by AWI on behalf of their shareholders, Australian woolgrowers. It aims to improve the sustainability of wool growing in Australia by increasing transparency, reducing costs within the exchange of ownership process and increasing competitive tension at the point of sale. The scope of this review is to study the exchange of ownership process between the seller (the woolgrower) and the first buyer (usually an exporter or processor) and the associated costs and processes that sit within the current industry selling system. The focus is to determine if the current exchange of ownership between sellers and buyers provides the optimal competition and subsequent financial returns to the primary wool producers. It will provide recommendations and proposed implementation should areas of improvement or opportunity be identified during this review. Unlike a number of previous reviews of the Australian wool industry, the WSSR does not attempt to address every aspect of the wool supply chain. It does not look beyond the export function and does not look to investigate matters of processing, marketing or generic demand creation for wool in offshore consumer markets. Like other projects commissioned by AWI, the WSSR will be managed at arm’s length. In order to achieve this AWI has appointed a Review Panel to direct and progress the review process. The Review Panel comprises James Lillie, Managing Director at Fox & Lille Pty Ltd; Graeme Samuel AC, former Chair of the ACCC; Bernard Wonder PSM, former Head of Office at the Productivity Commission; and William Wilson, former Director of Sydney Futures Exchange and ASX and currently Director of Australian Investor Relation Services. Wool producer Colin Bell, who is also Executive Director and Chairman of the Bell Financial Group, is the panel’s grower expert resource. The panel’s executive officer is John Roberts, Director of Eubindal Pty Ltd and former GM Elders Wool International and Dalgety Wool Exports. The experience that exists within this panel combines significant wool industry history with unrivalled knowledge in competition creation, commodity markets and research. The panel members believe that the most effective way to drive change will be to adopt a highly consultative approach. It is their intention to develop a thorough and consistent understanding of the current industry landscape. In order to achieve this they will be engaging with industry participants from woolgrowers through to exporters to listen, learn and understand the relevant issues that exist. The WSSR will run for a 12 month period and the final report is expected to be made available from October 2015. The panel intends to release an ‘Issues Statement’ to be available at www.wool.com/wssr before the end of December 2014 and submissions from industry will be invited at that time. All submissions will be considered and Australian woolgrowers are encouraged to participate and use this opportunity to put forward their concerns, suggestions and initiatives on how to build a more sustainable industry going forward. MORE INFORMATION www.wool.com/wssr WOOL SELLING SYSTEMS REVIEW Independent panel seeks industry views on review of wool selling system.