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Beyond the Bale : June 2017
Young woolgrowers from across Australia enjoyed gaining a greater understanding of the Chinese wool industry during a recent self-funded study trip organised by AWI to China and Hong Kong. Close to 80 per cent of Australia's raw wool production is exported to China for early stage processing. Half of this wool is consumed in China at retail, making the Chinese wool processing and retail economy extremely important to Australia's $3.6 billion wool industry. Funding their own trip, more than a dozen woolgrowers from across Australia travelled in February on a two-week study trip organised by AWI to learn more about the Chinese market. They met with key vertically integrated mills such as Sunshine and Nanshan, key processors such as Tianyu, the Wool Development Centre set up in collaboration between Nanshan and AWI, and knitting facilities including the Knitwear Development Centre setup by Xinao in collaboration with AWI. In Shanghai, Nanjing and Hong Kong, woolgrowers met with key AWI staff as well as retailers and designers who all work to sell wool in this key market. Encouraging the next generation of wool industry workforce participants is critical to the prosperity of the Australian wool industry. AWI 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. The woolgrowers that travelled to China and Hong Kong were: VIC Warren Russell, Daniel Rogers, Sue & Rod Miller, Cameron Mibus NSW Ed Morgan, Alex Willson, Ian Cameron SA Syd Lawrie, Tom Davidson WA Todd Mullan (see opposite), Mitchell Hogg TAS Anna Cotton (see opposite) GROWERS EXPERIENCE THE STRENGTH OF CHINA'S WOOL INDUSTRY Woolgrowers on the trip visiting the Wool Resource Centre in Hong Kong. The suit production line at Nanshan where each person is responsible for sewing a particular part of the suit – visited by the woolgrowers. 60 MARKET INTELLIGENCE