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Beyond the Bale : September 2018
DROUGHT I am deeply concerned about the effect that the enduring drought conditions are having on many woolgrowers. AWI provides a range of drought planning and management publications, webinar recordings and other resources for woolgrowers going into, enduring or recovering from drought. On our website we also provide links to useful external resources and government agencies that provide drought assistance. View a list of available resources on the AWI website at www.wool.com/droughtresources. HEALTHY PRICES CONTINUE During the past few months, the EMI surpassed the $20 mark for the very first time, and at the time of writing is $21.16. Prices are in very healthy territory, both in absolute terms and in comparison to prices from just 12 months ago. I have always firmly believed that Merino wool is a $20+ fibre. With supply having increased during the past couple of seasons, I consider these robust prices as fundamentally a result of a strong and consistent demand for our fibre. AWI’s marketing in key northern hemisphere markets has been successfully cementing Australian wool as a premium natural fibre for which consumers are willing to pay a premium price. Although the finer microns have performed particularly well lately, the broader microns have also been rising during the past 18 months. Meanwhile, other competitive fibre prices remain relatively flat. INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF PERFORMANCE AWI has published on its website an independent Review of Performance, which is required to be conducted every three years. The report, produced by Ernst & Young, will be of great benefit to AWI in refining its processes and approach going forward. I am pleased the review included important context about the scale of the Australian wool industry and the scope of AWI’s role. WOOLPOLL 2018 I encourage all eligible wool levy payers to cast their votes when the poll opens on 17 September. It is the opportunity for woolgrowers Australia-wide to choose what percentage of their clip proceeds are used to fund AWI – their research, development and marketing company – for the next three years. The ballot paper will be posted to eligible levy payers in September, along with a Voter Information Kit that outlines information about WoolPoll 2018 and how AWI proposes to invest levy funds at each levy rate option. The poll closes at 5pm (AEST) on 2 November. AWI ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) The AWI 2018 AGM will be held on Friday 23 November at the Swissotel Sydney at 68 Market St, Sydney. Formal notice and meeting papers will be sent to AWI shareholders in October. AWI shareholders who are unable to attend the AGM in person will be able to view the AGM proceedings via webcast. Further details are available on the AWI website at www.wool.com/agm. The AWI 2017/18 Annual Report will also be released in October. REGISTER NOW FOR WOOLQ Most of WoolQ’s functionality is now complete and available on the WoolQ website. This functionality includes the industry discussion forum and ready reckoner, as well as the eSpeci (an alternative to the current paper speci) that was made available in March. The final piece of WoolQ functionality, the ‘WoolQ Market’, is scheduled for release towards the end of the year. I strongly encourage woolgrowers to register with WoolQ today – at www.woolq.com. Not only will you be able to use all the current functionality, but you will be kept updated on the release of the WoolQ Market. A NEW LOOK AT SHEARING Wool harvesting is an elaborate labour- intensive process, relying on highly trained shearers and wool handlers who work hard within a busy wool shed workplace. While AWI continues to fund shearer and wool handler training aimed at increasing productivity, skills development and professionalism, AWI is also taking a new look at automated shearing. We are spreading the investment risk across a few investments, as well as looking for additional opportunities in safe and soft robotics. See page 68 for further details. PROTECTING AGAINST FLYSTRIKE At this year’s 2018 Breech Flystrike RD&E Technical Update attended by 115 industry stakeholders in July, significant and incremental progress was reported from a wide spectrum of research projects and trials conducted on farms and in laboratories. The presentations from the event are all available on the AWI website at www.wool.com/flystrikeRnDupdate LIVE & BREATHE MARKETING CAMPAIGN AWI’s marketing arm The Woolmark Company has launched a new global consumer campaign – the first in recent years. The Live & Breathe campaign aims to educate a lost generation on the technical performance benefits of Australian Merino wool, and to drive purchase through partners in the performance, athleisure and streetwear categories. The overarching message of the campaign – which comprises a short film, hero fashion and sportswear imagery, and additional e-commerce extensions – is that wool is breathable, making it perfect for performance. Focusing on breathability allows the campaign to talk about a number of wool’s key elements in the performance category, such as temperature regulation, odour resistance and its moisture-wicking nature. For more information, visit www.woolmark.com. 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 - September 2018