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Beyond the Bale : Feb 07 - Mar 07
By Kellie Penfold At some stage, every woolgrower will question the marketing of their clip. Stick with the auction system? What about for ward contracts? A new guide helps growers answer some of these questions. Eighty-five per cent of Australia's wool clip is marketed through the auction system, but through grower feedback, 12 MARKETING MERINO BEYOND THE BALE AWI has found considerable interest in exploring other marketing options. In partnership with Tasmania's 8x5 Wool Profit Program, AWI has just released a guide to wool marketing and it is now available to all Australian growers. Paul Swan, AWI's knowledge ser vices manager, says the guide sets out to demystify the terms and conditions of the Where there's wool, there's a way To market, to market: a new guide A new educational guide for woolgrowers provides information on various methods of marketing wool, other than auction, and the inherent risks associated with each method Years before swapping California for Tasmania, woolgrower Nan Bray had a different impression of wool and its worth. Looking for a new suit for a new job -- heading up CSIRO's Marine Research division -- she settled on a classic St John Knit wool suit. In the late 1990s, when Dr Bray left CSIRO and bought a Merino farm in Tasmania's Central Midlands, her thoughts returned to that wool suit. "I thought, there's got to be a market for wool. But then I went to my first wool auction, and I was appalled," she says. "It was like a performance review based on a whole year's work and it was over in 10 seconds.You don't know where your wool is going or why." And she says prices are not indicative of quality. "In 2001, I sold wool for $24 a kilogram. In 2002, I had better- quality wool and sold it for $10/kg." As a relative newcomer to the wool business, Dr Bray brings fresh insight to wool marketing. She says woolgrowers need price stability. "And to do that we need improved paths to market so that Tasmanian wool is treated as the unique commodity it is." Happily, it was something Tasmanian woolbroker Roberts Ltd was already working on, and now Dr Bray is Workshop gives producers access to best wool-chain intelligence operations and commercial relationships, seeking ways to connect with the end-user," Mr Wallace says. "Growers need to decide where they want their wool business to be in five to 10 years' time, and this workshop will provide knowledge on how to take advantage of any opportunities." Leading Sheep Southern Inland regional coordinator Emily Martin says the learning objectives of workshop are: ú identifying the various methods of direct marketing a wool clip, with or without a broker; ú assessing what can be gained for a wool clip if the producer goes down this path; ú identifying the risks that can be encountered in various direct marketing methods; ú managing the risks associated with direct marketing; and ú developing contacts that are available to assist woolgrowers with direct marketing. Mr Wallace intends to hold similar workshops in other states around the country. The best intelligence on setting up wool marketing chains, from fleece on-farm through to fibre end-users, will be on offer for Queensland producers at a Developing Wool Supply Chains workshop on 28 February at St George, Queensland. Author of the Non Auction Marketing Opportunities booklet, Robert Wallace is being brought to Queensland by the Leading Sheep Southern Inland regional committee to present knowledge about supply chains as an alternative to traditional auction and private-treaty marketing options.The St George workshop is based on information in this booklet, and each attendee will take home a copy as a source of additional information. Mr Wallace has 20 years' experience as a woolbroker dealing with top global processors and retailers, and 10 years' experience putting together large and successful wool-demand chains in Tasmania, New South Wales,Victoria and Western Australia. "Many sectors of the wool pipeline are reviewing their various options available to woolgrowers. "Feedback from grower groups was that they are extremely interested in how they can market their clip, but there has been no one place they could study the options and compare how they would suit their operation," he says. "So the aim was to produce a clear, concise guide that was easy to access and which growers could work their way through -- and feel more in control of their wool marketing. "We recognise that while the auction system is still the most popular way to sell wool in Australia, this may not always be the case and growers are keen to explore all options." The guide covers the four key marketing methods, other than auction, used in Australia. Robert Wallace of uality Consultants, Launceston, was engaged to research and write the 80-plus page document. "It was not the intent to cover every available option for direct marketing, but more the general arrangements that are in common practice today," Mr Swan says. "The guide also looks at the risk associated with direct marketing of wool and steps which can be taken to reduce that risk." The 15 per cent of the clip sold outside the auction system is sold privately on-farm or to local wool-handling facilities. Included in this is wools sold by private treaty, forward sale and other methods, which include progressive tender, price-on-result, electronic offer boards, direct-to- mill and sale by value-adding. "It is the methods of marketing other than auction that AWI receives the most enquiries about," Mr Swan says. The guide also takes the form of a workbook with real-life case studies and example scenarios with areas for woolgrowers to take their own notes. At the back there is a template which can be copied and used to calculate the cost of production. More information:To obtain a copy of the guide contact the AWI toll-free helpline 1800 070 099 The aim was to produce a clear, concise guide that was easy to access and which growers could work their way through -- and feel more in control of their wool marketing. More information: Emily Martin, Leading Sheep, 0427 255 449; Robert Wallace, Quality Consultants, 03 6334 1664, 0419 347 303, email@example.com
Feb 07 - Mar 07 Supplement
Dec 06 - Jan 07