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Beyond the Bale : May 2010
16 May 2010 BEYOND THE BALE WOOL PRODUCTION Apparel giant backs wool's sustainability Korean wool processor and apparel giant Cheil Industries has contributed money to a major Australian environmental initiative, the Australian Land Management Certification System (ALMCS), demonstrating that the company considers sustainable land management on Australian wool-growing properties to be very important to its business. Cheil's merchandising manager Ms Shin, who visited Australia in March, said the company is keen to help support the natural environment in which Australian Merino wool is grown. "The inherent properties of Australian Merino wool have been crucial to the success of Cheil's Galaxy range of men's suits," Ms Shin explained. "In recognition of this, Cheil has decided to provide funds for the sustainable management of the grazing land on which Australian woolgrowers produce this wonderful fibre. We are very appreciative of the work done by the woolgrowers. "We regard the continued success of our products as being fundamentally linked to sustainable environmental management in Australia, and hence we feel a corporate responsibility towards the Australian wool- growing community." Cheil Industries, which is part of the Samsung Group, is the most influential vertical wool processor and apparel retailer in Korea, with an estimated total turnover last year of A$1.3 billion. The company's wool division produces mainly extra-fine Merino fabrics, and machine knit yarns, selling more than 500,000 of its prestige Merino wool suits every year. AWI and Cheil have had a strong business relationship for many years with collaboration on several demand-building projects. AWI also arranged the agreement between Cheil and the Australian Land Management Group (ALM Group) -- the group responsible for the ALMCS. AWI project manager Renelle Jeffrey said Cheil's initiative with the ALM Group is a valuable recognition of the time, effort and resources woolgrowers spend on improving environmental performance. "This is an inspiring example of a major apparel company directly funding the support of the Australian environment," Renelle said. "Japanese clothing manufacturer and retailer Onward Kashiyama also provided a significant financial contribution to the ALMCS last year. "It shows how important the natural and sustainable properties of wool are to our partners in the apparel and retail trade." ABOUT ALMCS The ALMCS is a whole-of-farm, catchment- linked national certification system for land management. Landholders invest in the ALMCS for a variety of reasons, including: • improved market access, from being able to use environmental attributes to differentiate their products • improved farm productivity, from better FAST FACTS l Korean apparel giant Cheil Industries has contributed money to an Australian land-management initiative. l The sustainable growing of wool is important to companies along the wool pipeline that manufacture and retail wool products. use of natural and other resources • improved land value • improved risk management • improved access to natural resource funding programs, and • an altruistic desire to better manage the environment. ALM Group CEO Tony Gleeson said Cheil's contribution to the ALMCS will help provide support for woolgrowers to demonstrate improving environmental performance. "The ALM Group believes that the best way of improving environmental outcomes in rural Australia is to have a system that allows landholders to show their customers here and overseas, as well as the general community, that they are responsible land managers," Mr Gleeson said "Action plans are the core of the ALMCS system. When a landholder joins the system, the first thing they will do is develop a plan, which will be their guide to improving environmental outcomes. External auditors then ensure that the plans are being implemented and are meeting the established targets." More information: www.almg.org.au Sustainable environmental management on wool properties in Australia has a positive effect on retailers' ability to sell wool products to consumers.