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Beyond the Bale : September 2017
6 OFF FARM February’s devastating bushfires burnt through 55,000 hectares of farming land in the NSW Central West, destroying more than 5,000 head of sheep and cattle and damaging vital agricultural infrastructure. As always, the local RFS members did their utmost to contain and limit the damage. While people across NSW and the nation watched with sadness and empathy as the events unfolded, the effects were also being felt 15,000 km away in Norway. Apparel company and Woolmark licensee Devold, based on the north-west coast of Norway, sources some of the Merino wool used in its apparel from Edward Martin’s ‘Turee Vale’ property at Coolah. While ‘Turee Vale’ was not directly affected by the fires, some of Edward’s neighbours’ properties were damaged. Devold was founded in 1853, based on the idea of protecting people against the elements, and has worked with wool throughout its 164 year history. The company’s main focus is on apparel for sports and outdoor people; Edward’s Merino wool is used in the recently- launched Devold Breeze and Devold Signature base-layer collections. Not long prior to the bushfires, Edward had Norwegian company Devold, which sources wool from Coolah woolgrower Edward Martin in the Warrumbungle Shire of NSW, has donated protective Merino wool apparel to members of his local Rural Fire Service in recognition of their work in fighting the Sir Ivan bushfires in February. been in Munich, Germany, at the ISPO trade show (the largest sporting and outdoor goods trade show in the world) as an ambassador for Devold and Merino wool. There he showcased the premium qualities of Merino fibre to the many manufacturers and retailers that visited the Devold stand and told them about the families and farms that produce it. “Devold had an event for press and international trade at ISPO to launch its new collections and I was there to help provide a different perspective for the audience,” Edward said. “Quality is critical to protect the people that buy this type of apparel and I helped get the message across that woolgrowers work hard to provide the degree of quality that they need.” Almost as soon as Edward landed back in Australia, the Sir Ivan bushfires began to sweep through the Central West of NSW, and Edward along with his local RFS colleagues were deployed for three days to help combat them. When Devold heard about the destruction caused by the fires, they wanted to pay tribute to the local RFS brigade’s members, many of whom are also farmers and neighbours of Edward. So they sent flame Livestock being relocated from property near Coolah, NSW, on 12 February 2017, as smoke from the Sir Ivan bushfire is seen in the background PHOTO: Alex Ellinghausen retardant Merino wool-rich apparel and balaclavas/hoods Down Under that were presented to the brigade in July. This particular range of apparel, from Devold Protection, is designed as workwear for protection in occupations where workers are exposed to heat and flame, so it is very suitable for fire-fighters. “When we heard about the terrible bushfires in Australia, we wanted to do something to help out,” Devold CEO Cathrine Stange said. “After travelling to Australia last year to visit Edward’s property and the other farms that supply us, I have so much respect for these farmers. Theirs is a lifestyle demanding enormous passion, drive and a wide set of skills. It is impressive how they operate, and always with the unpredictability of crises like for example a bushfire.” Edward said he and the rest of the brigade were very appreciative of the donation by Devold. “The Merino apparel is an unexpected but well received gesture from Devold, and the brigade will make good use of them. They are very comfortable and their flame-resistant properties will be indispensable,” he said.
In the Shops - September 2017