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Beyond the Bale : June 2011
3 June 2011 BEYOND THE BALE UPFRONT Getting on with business We are continuing with initiatives to help increase the demand for wool through investments in marketing, innovations and R&D -- from farm to fashion. I would like to inform you of some recent advancements the organisation is making: Campaign for Wool -- Australia: The Campaign was launched in Australia during March to coincide with the start of the autumn/winter retail season. Australian retailers around Australia are highlighting their support for wool in their own fashion lines by using shop window decals and in-store showcards bearing the Campaign for Wool and the new green Woolmark logos. A high profile launch event for the Campaign was hosted by the Governor- General Ms Quentin Bryce AC at the iconic Admiralty House in Sydney. During the event, wool was showcased in front of an audience of influential fashion designers, retailers and the media. Campaign for Wool -- international: Following the launch last year in the UK, the five-year Campaign is this year extending across other countries including key northern hemisphere consumer markets, including the USA, Japan, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. The Campaign will feature an International Wool Week in September. The Chairman of the Campaign John Thorley has also confirmed that HRH The Prince of Wales has given his enthusiastic support to the Campaign being launched in China in 2012 ready for their autumn retail season. International Wool Textile Organisation: AWI attended the IWTO conference in Hangzhou, China in early May. The mood at the conference was upbeat, with delegates hearing marketing presentations from AWI on the recent roll out of the 'No Finer Feeling' program in Europe and the 'Gold Woolmark' program in China. Attendees from AWI included chairman Wal Merriman, director George Falkiner, myself (speaker), chief strategy and marketing advisor Rob Langtry (speaker), manager of market intelligence and trade reporting Paul Swan (speaker) and Woolmark technical services manager Allan de Boos (speaker). Peter Ackroyd, who is contracted to AWI (UK), was appointed President of IWTO. Peter has been instrumental in the development of the Campaign for Wool program in the UK and in its extension phase in autumn/winter 2011. AWI Woolgrower Forum: AWI conducted its latest Woolgrower Forum in March to get feedback on its strategic direction. We sought input to the development of the 2011/12 Operating Plan in light of the current industry environment and outcomes from the plans implemented by AWI in 2010/11. The Forum is an important part of AWI's annual planning cycle to ensure input from shareholders. The next Woolgrower Forum is scheduled for August. AWI/MLA R&D Insights Forum: AWI and Meat & Livestock Australia hosted an R&D Insights Forum in March that outlined a selection of R&D outcomes from our investments. The forum had presentations on a range of R&D programs that influence on-farm performance and environmental outcomes. The forum proceedings and the presentations are available on the AWI website. AWI on-farm extension collateral: We are currently updating our extension materials for woolgrowers -- both hard copy publications and online information. We will be making these materials available in a timely manner and make it easy for woolgrowers to access. The first example of this is our new set of three shearing posters now available free to woolgrowers. The posters are aimed at helping woolgrowers get more efficient and productive shearing and woolhandling practices in their sheds. Wool4Skool: School students from across the country have been learning about the benefits and versatility of wool fabrics, by taking part in AWI's inaugural Wool4Skool competition. Students entering the competition had to submit designs for a new school uniform that incorporated various wool innovations. The competition was aligned with a number of syllabus areas of the curriculum. Planning is now underway to expand the initiative during 2012. Wool Fit for a Prince: Samples of Merino wool that were donated by woolgrowers from across Australia were turned into suit fabric as a wedding gift for Prince William. Over 100 metres of fabric were produced from the donated wool, enough for 27 suit lengths. The remaining 26 will be donated for auction, with the proceeds (after costs) to be gifted to the Royal Flying Doctors Service in Australia. A sample of the final cloth will be sent to all woolgrowers who donated wool. Knitwear in Fashion exhibition: Woolmark is the presenting partner of the high profile "UNRAVEL: Knitwear in Fashion" exhibition currently showing at the prestigious MoMu fashion museum in Antwerp, Belgium. The exhibition is attracting the fashion glitterati from around Europe as well as fashion loving consumers. The exhibition demonstrates that wool is the ideal natural choice for knitwear. E-communications: In our endeavour to find better ways to communicate with our shareholders, and to complement our quarterly Beyond the Bale magazine, we have introduced a monthly e-newsletter available to Australian woolgrowers. The Woolgrower e-newsletter provides a snapshot of key projects and events involving AWI. To subscribe to this free service, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We have also started producing podcasts for woolgrowers, which are available on our website at www.wool.com/podcasts. AWI Annual General Meeting: AWI will hold its 2011 AGM on Friday 18 November 2011 in Sydney. Formal notice and meeting papers will be sent to AWI shareholders in October 2011. The 2011 director nomination form and consent to nomination form are available for download at www.wool.com/agm. Stuart McCullough Chief Executive Officer, Australian Wool Innovation