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Beyond the Bale : December 2018
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 WOOLPOLL 2018 Australian woolgrowers have voted in favour of a wool levy of 1.5% on wool sales to fund research, development and marketing. Of the 13,506 votes received, following the allocation of three rounds of preferences, 52.82% voted in favour of a 1.5% wool levy. On first preferences, 88.28% of woolgrowers had voted for a levy option of either 1.5% or 2%, demonstrating continued support for AWI’s role investing in R&D and marketing on behalf of woolgrowers. AWI will continue to be prudent in managing its balance sheet and will adjust its operations to match available funding as part of the next three-year strategic plan, which commences in 2019-20. The company will endeavour to ensure no loss of momentum in the marketing of wool in Australia and overseas – and will continue its targeted investment across sheep health and welfare, reproduction, vertebrate pests, genetics, fibre advocacy, farm automation and software development. I thank the WoolPoll Panel and its Chairman Sydney Lawrie for their contribution and for encouraging participation and ensuring the voting process was conducted in compliance with the regulations. AWI ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AWI held its 2018 AGM on Friday 23 November in Sydney – see opposite page. At the AGM, I gave a detailed presentation of the activities of the company during 2017/18. Woolgrowers who were unable to attend the AGM in person were able to view the AGM proceedings via webcast. This was the seventh time that AWI has webcast its AGM. As well as being broadcast live, a recording of the webcast of the 2018 AGM is available to be viewed on the AWI website at www.wool.com/2018agm BECOME AN AWI SHAREHOLDER AWI shareholders are able to shape the decision making process of the company, via their right to vote at the company’s Annual General Meetings and Extraordinary General Meetings. AWI has more than 22,000 shareholders. It’s important to note that paying wool levies does not automatically make a levy payer a shareholder of AWI. To become a shareholder, a levy payer must apply (which is free). I encourage all eligible wool levy payers, who have not already become an AWI shareholder, to apply. To be eligible to become an AWI shareholder, applicants must have paid at least $100 in wool levies in the past three years. To become an AWI shareholder, levy- paying woolgrowers should complete the shareholder application form at www.wool. com/shareholders and return it to the AWI share registry at Link Market Services. Enquiries should be directed to Link Market Services on 1800 113 373 (free call). REVIEW OF PERFORMANCE IMPLEMENTATION PORTAL In October, AWI detailed its Review of Performance (ROP) implementation plan for all 82 recommendations in the independent ROP. The implementation plan specifies how the organisation will address all 82 recommendations included in the ROP. To aid transparency and information flow with woolgrowers and industry, AWI has launched a Review of Performance Implementation Portal (ROPIP) that reports on our progress implementing the 82 recommendations. The ROPIP is available on the AWI website at http://rop.wool.com REGISTER NOW FOR WOOLQ The final piece of WoolQ functionality, WoolQ Market, will soon be released, completing the suite of tools on the platform. The WoolQ Market aims to be a centralised, online marketplace for Australian wool. The two- tiered platform will provide both a bulletin board of buying and selling interest accessible on a 24/7 basis as well as an efficient, easy to use online auction operating outside the Open Cry market hours. With extensive benefits for buyers, brokers and growers, the WoolQ Market will serve as a complement to the current Open Cry auction markets. A pilot of the WoolQ Market will commence at the end of the year, with full roll out anticipated early in 2019. To use WoolQ’s current functionality and to ensure you are kept informed of the further developments, ensure you register at www.woolq.com. HIGH PERFORMANCE JACKET: OFFER FOR WOOLGROWERS Using the latest OptimTM technology, Merino wool is able to be woven into an immensely dense fabric that is more resistant to water and wind, while retaining all of Merino wool’s fine properties, such as breathability. The 100% Australian Merino wool fabric was commercially launched a few years ago and is now being used in both the fashion and outdoor markets. To enable wool levy payers to experience the benefits of Merino wool in this innovative way, at cost price, we have produced an exclusive jacket – the Woolmark Optim WR jacket – that is now available for purchase online at www. wool.com/store. This is similar to the popular jacket that we made available to woolgrowers two years ago. POSITIVE PRICES DURING 2018 As 2018 draws to a close, we can reflect on another very positive year for woolgrowers. Due to improved demand, the EMI has been very healthy for the entire year, especially the second half – with the EMI reaching above the $20 mark for the very first time. This consistently high EMI has been very rewarding to watch during the year and, more importantly, very rewarding financially for many woolgrowers. We hope that 2019 continues on this positive note. And with this in mind, I wish you a very happy Christmas and prosperous New Year. 44 UPFRONT
In the Shops - March 2019