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Beyond the Bale : December 2015
VOTE TO RETAIN 2% LEVY WOOLGROWERS At its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 20 November, AWI reported on a year of strong results for woolgrowers across research, development and marketing. Addressing the meeting and via a webcast, AWI CEO Stuart McCullough highlighted the efforts to lift demand for Australian wool through ongoing marketing initiatives and new fabric innovations, protecting the national flock from issues such as wild dog predation and increasing productivity through programs such as Lifetime Ewe Management. “We appreciate that wool prices must lift to keep and attract more woolgrowers,” he said. “The retail, brand and manufacturing partners joining our marketing programs are increasing as reflected in increasing revenue from Woolmark licenses. We will continue to find innovative fabrics using wool and seek new ways to exchange wool via the Wool Selling Systems Review.” AWI Chairman Wal Merriman reported to the AGM how his Board continues to set the strategic direction of the company. He acknowledged the long service of director Brian van Rooyen who had chosen not to re-stand for election, serving as a director of AWI since 2002. DIRECTOR ELECTIONS The AWI Constitution stipulates at least a third of the Board, currently made up of seven members, must retire their positions every two years. In 2015, the incumbent AWI directors to retire were Wal Merriman, Brian van Rooyen and David Webster. Messrs Merriman and Webster chose to re-stand for election. A nomination was received from Jock Laurie, a past President of the NSW Farmers’ Association and the National Farmers’ Federation. The AWI Board Nomination Committee has assessed the skills of the candidates as required under the Statutory Funding Agreement with the Federal Government. The Nomination Committee delivered its report to the AWI Board and the report was appended to the Notice of Annual General Meeting as part of the AWI shareholder voting pack. At the AGM, Messrs Merriman, Webster and Laurie were duly elected to the AWI Board. The new Board met immediately following the AGM and re-elected Wal Merriman as Chairman. UPFRONT 3 Australian woolgrowers have voted to maintain the two per cent levy on wool sales to fund research, development and marketing of the natural fibre. CEO Stuart McCullough thanked woolgrowers for participating and showing faith in AWI to continue its work to increase the profitability of growing wool. "We take the responsibility of investing woolgrowers’ levies very seriously, so we are heartened the level of support for the 2% levy rate increased this year. WoolPoll is a transparent and fair way for woolgrowers to decide our future funding and the opportunity to vote zero is an option the AWI Board is pleased must always be offered. VIEW A RECORDING OF THE AGM The 2015 AWI AGM was broadcast live via webcast on 20 November. As well as being broadcast live, the 2015 broadcast is available to be viewed on demand (for 12 months following the AGM) via the AWI website at www.wool.com/2015AGM The webcasting initiative by AWI enabled those AWI shareholders that were unable to attend the AGM in person to view the AGM proceedings. AWI shareholders also had the opportunity to submit questions online to the AWI Chairman and CEO to be answered at the AGM. AWI ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: A STRONG YEAR IN 2015 AND A NEW DIRECTOR “We will continue to measure the performance of all aspects of AWI, but we must explore new and innovative ways to make wool-growing easier and more profitable. We must also educate more designers and brands to use wool and in turn more consumers around the world to wear wool.” Mr McCullough acknowledged the efforts of the WoolPoll Panel and its Chairman Will Roberts in encouraging participation and ensuring the voting process was conducted in compliance with the regulations. As in previous Polls, eligible levy payers were invited to select their preferred levy option from 0%, 1%, 2%, 2.5% and 3%. WoolPoll follows strict guidelines set out in the WoolPoll Regulations as an independent, democratic process. The results have been certified by the Returning Officer from Link Market Services Limited. The result was announced at the AWI Annual General Meeting on 20 November. WOOLPOLL YEAR % of votes returned % of votes for 2% and above % of votes for below 2% 2003 54.59 63.10 36.93 2006 51.57 69.50 30.49 2009 53.70 73.13 26.87 2012 60.94 60.34 39.65 2015 50.68 67.86 32.14 SUMMARY OF WOOLPOLL RESULTS AWI CEO Stuart McCullough at the AWI 2015 AGM. Figures might not add due to rounding.
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