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Beyond the Bale : March 2016
WOOL SELLING SYSTEMS REVIEW The independent panel commissioned by AWI on behalf of Australian woolgrowers to examine the wool selling system has issued its final report which includes a number of substantial findings and recommendations. This very significant review was conducted at arms-length to AWI. It involved almost 100 submissions and many more issues raised from a wide variety of viewpoints and much discussion and debate. This review explores some great opportunities to reduce the cost of selling wool for growers, reduce the barriers for those wanting to buy wool and help bring the wool industry into the digital age. NEW WILD DOG COORDINATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA A wild dog coordinator has been appointed to help reduce dog predation in sheep producing areas of Western Australia. The position in Western Australia complements the AWI-funded wild dog coordinators currently operating in western NSW, north- eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland. 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. THE NEXT GENERATION AWI offers a range of professional and leadership development opportunities to young people who are following a career pathway in wool, through initiatives including the National Merino Challenge, the Breeding Leadership program, the Young Farming Champions program, and scholarships through bodies such as Nuffield Australia. Our funding in these programs aims to help improve the engagement of young people interested in the wool industry, thereby developing and retaining the knowledge and skills the wool industry needs to be innovative in response to new challenges. INTERNATIONAL WOOLMARK PRIZE The womenswear award and the menswear award of the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize were both held earlier this year. The interest in these awards from fashion communities and media globally continues to be phenomenal which is important to help increase the global demand for Australian wool. It is helping put wool back on the agendas of fashion designers across the world, and consequently into retail stores for consumers to purchase. The winners have the opportunity to be stocked in the most important retailers around the globe including David Jones in Australia. PROVENANCE OF AUSTRALIAN WOOL The provenance of Australian wool and the unique heritage we have with more than 200 years of growing the fibre continues to be of great relevance to industry partners and consumers. We have seen many brands use ‘the farm to fashion story’ as a core ingredient in a high-value end product. And there continues to be an increasing willingness of leading brands and key media in partnering with AWI to describe to their consumers the benefits wool brings to their apparel products. INTERIORS The woollen interiors sector remains strong, according to Woolmark licensees at this year’s influential Heimtextil trade show. This is good news for growers of broader micron and crossbred wool. As in previous years at Heimtextil, AWI co-hosted the Wool Arena – a focal point for the industry to promote the fibre at the show – highlighting the superior natural benefits of all wool. New collections and product ranges for babies and children were seen this year at various bedding producers. Other trends include wool waddings for mattresses and wool balls for filled wool bedding which were in high demand. WOOL IN SPORTS/ OUTDOOR/ATHLEISURE APPAREL AWI continues to cement Merino fibre’s presence in the sports and outdoor market, collaborating with leading manufacturers and brands to promote the natural benefits of wool as a performance fibre. A majority of the world’s leading outdoor brands now incorporate Merino wool innovations in their collections – and brands’ designers and developers continually seek our advice and assistance in incorporating or extending their product ranges with Merino wool. Merino wool’s ability to combine comfort and flexibility with casual elegance, is also making it well placed to cater to the growing market for ‘athleisure’ – a term used for activewear that can be used for non-active and casual, everyday use – with a modern, comfy and stylish look. 2016 IWTO CONGRESS IN SYDNEY The International Wool Textile Organisation’s (IWTO) annual Congress will be held in Sydney next month, 4-6 April – with the theme of wool for future generations. There is still time to register your attendance and be part of this global get-together of the wool supply chain. Featuring presentations from local and international speakers, the program covers global consumer and retail trends for wool, market intelligence, trade, economic sustainability, woolgrower technology, education for future generations and much more. 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
In the Shops - March 2016