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Beyond the Bale : March 2019
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 POSITIVE PRICES CONTINUE DURING 2019 Last year was a very positive year for wool prices, due to improved demand, with the EMI reaching above the $20 mark for the very first time. There was a short-term dip in the EMI in mid-November to 1786c, but prices have largely recovered, with the EMI at 2027c at time of writing. At AWI we all hope that these high prices continue. REGISTER NOW FOR WOOLQ The final piece of WoolQ functionality, WoolQ Market will be released very soon, completing the suite of tools on the platform. The WoolQ Market will be a centralised, online marketplace for Australian wool. The two-tiered platform provides both a bulletin board of buying and selling interest accessible on a 24/7 basis as well as an efficient and easy to use online auction. WoolQ Market will serve as a complement to the current Open Cry auction markets. To use WoolQ’s current functionality and to ensure you are kept informed of developments, ensure you register at www.woolq.com. WILD DOG COORDINATORS AWI recently began co-funding a wild dog coordinator in South Australia, Marty Bower, and a coordinator in central-west Queensland, Kristy Waddell, to help landholders and communities work together to combat wild dog attacks. AWI-funded wild dog coordinators are now operating in all Australia’s mainland states. The contact details of all the AWI- funded wild dog coordinators are available at www.wool.com/wilddogs. FREE WOOLMARK BALE STENCIL As you might have read about recently, AWI and The Woolmark Company are offering Australian woolgrowers a free stencil of the Woolmark logo to use on their wool bales, to identify and brand their wool fibre as being proudly grown in Australia. We have had a good response from woolgrowers across Australia. If you haven’t already applied for a stencil, I encourage you to head to www.wool.com/ stencil today and fill out the application online. ROBOTIC ADVISORY GROUP MEMBERSHIP AWI is investing in robotics development to optimise wool harvesting for safety, welfare, clip quality and cost competitiveness. AWI now seeks expressions of interest from woolgrowers to join its Robotic Advisory Group to assist the development of its investment portfolio. AWI’s robotic shearing scoping study report is available at www.wool.com/robotics. Selection criteria includes a good understanding of the shearing process, challenges and opportunities, skills in entrepreneurship or engineering and the ability to think critically and strategically. Contact email@example.com by 31st April to receive the selection criteria and instructions on how to submit your interest. DROUGHT INFORMATION I continue to be deeply concerned about the effect that the enduring drought conditions are having on woolgrowers. AWI provides on its website at www.wool.com/droughtresources a range of drought planning and management publications, webinar recordings and other resources for woolgrowers going into, enduring or recovering from drought. We also provide links to useful external resources and government agencies that provide drought assistance. Of note is the new FarmHub website, developed by the National Farmers’ Federation and funded by the Australian Government, available at www.farmhub.org.au. HIGH PERFORMANCE JACKET OFFER Many woolgrowers have taken up the opportunity to purchase the Woolmark Optim WR jacket, at cost price ($185) since its launch in December. The jacket is made from a 100% Merino wool fabric that is resistant to water and wind, while retaining all of Merino wool’s fine properties, such as breathability. We produced the Woolmark- branded jacket to enable woolgrowers to experience the benefits of Merino wool in this innovative way. You can purchase the jacket online at www.wool.com/store. AWI GRADUATE PROGRAM Applications for the next intake of AWI’s 18-month Graduate Training program (starting in March 2020) open on 1st April and close on 30th April 2019. To apply, go to www.wool.com/careers or apply through Seek or LinkedIn from 1st April. The program is aimed at graduates from a broad cross section of disciplines who have a background in or connection with the Australian wool industry. AWI PODCAST FOR WOOLGROWERS AWI’s free podcast, The Yarn, which was launched 21⁄2 years ago, has gone from strength to strength with about 75 episodes released and a growing audience of Australian woolgrowers listening in on their smartphone or computer. Recent episodes have included an outlook for the wool market and an interview with Merino consultant Craig Wilson. All episodes of The Yarn are available at www.wool.com/podcast. I recommend that you take a listen. ENCOURAGING EMERGING DESIGNERS TO USE WOOL I have recently returned from the finals of the International Woolmark Prize, which was held this year in the key market of London. 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. But the International Woolmark Prize isn’t just about a competition. It’s also about educating the participating designers – there have been nearly 500 since the initiative was relaunched in 2012 – about the qualities and benefits of wool so they’ll keep on using the fibre throughout their careers. This theme runs through many of our initiatives with students – from Wool4School to sponsorships for Australian tertiary fashion and textiles students. Read about these and other similar initiatives in this edition of Beyond the Bale.
In the Shops - March 2019