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Beyond the Bale : June 2015
WOOLPOLL 2015 Later this year, woolgrowers Australia- wide will once again have the opportunity to choose at WoolPoll what percentage of their clip proceeds are used to fund AWI – their research, development and marketing company – for the next three years. In September, woolgrowers will be provided with a Voter Information Memorandum, which will outline information about WoolPoll and how AWI proposes to invest levy funds at each levy rate option. An independent Review of Performance will be published in August on the AWI website; a summary will be sent to wool levy payers with their Voter Information Memorandum and ballot paper. Voting will take place over a six-week period between 14 September and 30 October. The results of WoolPoll will be announced at the AWI Annual General Meeting on 20 November in Sydney, and take effect from 1 July 2016. I encourage all wool levy payers to cast their votes when the poll opens. AWI ROADSHOWS During September and October, AWI will be on the road hosting seminars in key wool-growing regions across all states of Australia. I invite you to join me to discuss how AWI has performed over the past three years and our plans for the future. We’ll be visiting about 25 locations, from Longreach in the north to Campbell Town in the south, from Katanning in the west to Walcha in the east. Locations will be advertised in the local press, on our website Wool.com and via the monthly AWI e-newsletter to woolgrowers (to which you can subscribe at www.wool.com/subscribe). WOOL SELLING SYSTEMS REVIEW The Wool Selling Systems Review (WSSR) panel will look to release a discussion paper by early July this year. Following this, a one day stakeholder workshop will be held in Melbourne in the latter half of July. The workshop will provide industry participants with the opportunity to debate the panel discussion paper and provide input into the review and its direction. There will be a call for final submissions to the panel following the workshop and before the panel releases the final document to AWI and industry towards the end of this year. FACILITATOR TO COMBAT WILD DOGS I am pleased to announce the appointment of David Worsley as Wild Dog Facilitator for the north-east region of NSW, based at Armidale. The position is funded by AWI and managed by the Invasive Animals CRC in partnership with AWI, NSW Department of Primary Industries, NSW Farmers, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services and local Landcare. David, who is well known in the area, has extensive knowledge of wild dogs and pest control, and experience in coordination, facilitation and mediation with farmers and stakeholder groups. David can be contacted on 0429 638 078 and dave. firstname.lastname@example.org. This position complements the AWI-funded wild dog coordinators currently operating in western NSW, Victoria and Queensland. AWI is also currently advertising for a wild dog coordinator in WA. A position description and further information for applications are available on the AWI website at www.wool.com/wilddogs. Applications close on 22 June 2015. The purpose of wild dog control coordinators is to work with woolgrowers and other livestock producers, public land managers, industry bodies, government departments and other stakeholders in reducing the impact of wild dog predation on livestock. NATIONAL MERINO CHALLENGE Last month’s National Merino Challenge was a huge success, with 98 students – double the number from two years ago – travelling from across Australia to Adelaide to compete in this educational initiative. The two-day AWI event involved presentations and demonstrations from a wide range of industry professionals to enable young people to develop their industry knowledge and networks. It was encouraging to see the students so involved and enthusiastic – they really enjoyed themselves. Our funding in programs like this aims to help improve the engagement of young people interested in the wool industry, thereby developing and retaining the skills the wool industry needs to be innovative in response to new challenges. CAMPAIGN FOR WOOL Australian retailers came together for the Campaign for Wool’s Wool Week which was held in May to coincide with the start of the Australian mid-winter retail season. It was pleasing to see so many shop fronts and online stores promoting wool and the Woolmark brand. The Campaign for Wool continues to be a success internationally too. During 2014, the campaign was celebrated on an unprecedented scale across international consumer markets, generating global editorial coverage worth more than AU$71 million, up from AU$40 million in 2013. INTERNATIONAL WOOL TEXTILE ORGANISATION (IWTO) Australia and AWI in particular were well represented at this year’s IWTO Congress held in May in Zhang jiagang, China. The environmental credentials of wool were once again at the forefront of discussions – the content of many of the presentations at the Congress echoed this theme. IWTO in partnership with AWI also created a Wool Retail Forum with the theme ‘Provenance and Performance’, two key elements that set wool apart from other fibres, and which Australian Merino wool in particular has in abundance. GETTING ON WITH BUSINESS We are continuing with initiatives to help increase the demand for wool through investments in marketing and R&D – from farm to fashion. Stuart McCullough Chief Executive Officer Australian Wool Innovation UPFRONT 3