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Beyond the Bale : September 2011
General Manager of outdoor apparel retailer Snowgum, Ross Elliott, has worked with AWI for some years, so when planning Snowgum's latest catalogue he rang AWI to enquire how his company could provide recognition to the woolgrowers that supplied the wool for Snowgum's garments. "We were keen to link our garments back to the natural landscape in which the fibre is grown, the families and of course the Merinos that make it all possible," Ross says. "Snowgum is proudly Australian and we champion the fact we use 100 per cent Australian Merino wool wherever and whenever we can." Through Snowgum's vertical manufacturer, Ross was able to obtain the Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) Combined Certificates for the wool lots purchased for Snowgum's garments. These certificates generally provide vital processing information for the manufacturer, including micron, CV, lot weights and also the brand ID. From this information AWI was able to help track down the broker who sold the wool, who in turn knows the woolgrower. In this case a portion of the wool sold at auction was through Cooma based woolbroker Gordon Litchfield. He was contacted and in turn made contact with his clients, Ross and Liz Sherlock, from "Kia Ora", Cooma, NSW. As a noted amateur photographer Gordon visited the Sherlocks during shearing and took some wonderful photographs of Ross, his flock and the bright white wool grown on the property. "It was a privilege to be able to offer this extra service to a client I have been working with for many years. Certainly a rewarding experience for both of us, and one that has worked out well I think," Gordon added. FAST FACTS l Using AWTA Combined Certificates, outdoor apparel retailer Snowgum was able to trace the source of the Merino garments that it sells. l The wool-growing property of Ross and Liz Sherlock from Cooma, NSW are now featured in the new Snowgum catalogue of Merino apparel. l AWI's and retailers' marketing programs are increasingly being linked to the source of the natural fibre. Marketing the natural story of wool Using a simple trace-back through the wool pipeline, AWI retail partner Snowgum has been able to use the on-farm story of woolgrowing to help sell wool at retail. While the result was surprisingly good, the process was refreshingly simple. September 2011 BEYOND THE BALE OFF-FARM 18 Ross and Liz Sherlock, with daughter Helena, wearing Snowgum apparel amongst their wool from which the apparel was manufactured.