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Beyond the Bale : Dec - Jan 08
18 GLOBAL BEYOND THE BALE Nearly 200 members of the Chinese textile industry have received hands- on training at Zhangjiagang, China, delivered by the Australian wool industry to raise awareness of quality-assurance measures. AWI, in association with the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) and the Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) provided information on classing standards, measurement and certification, presale information on wool quality and the roles of the grower, classer, broker and buyer. The two-day workshop delivered programs aimed at improving the knowledge and use of Australian wool-quality systems. Ben Lyons, AWI knowledge ser vices manager, says 58 China-located companies were represented at the workshop. "There was a strong emphasis on hands-on learning, with AWEX conducting skirting demonstrations and pre-sale clip inspection procedures with an in- depth explanation of 107 wool sale lots and the corresponding catalogue information," Mr Lyons says. "Additional sessions by AWTA on objective measurement, certification and dark and medullated fibre testing were very well received. Overall, 100 per cent of participants said the course improved their understanding of Australian Merino wool." Importantly, the information and training reached participants who rated their knowledge of Australia's wool-quality systems as either basic or nonexistent. The participants ranged from young factory-floor technicians through to enterprise managers. "More than 75 per cent of the participants also said they saw opportunities to use more Australian Merino wool, following the workshop. This is an excellent way in which to further not only the understanding of the quality-assurance systems in place in Australia, but also to increase awareness of the premium Australian clip."A key outcome of the meetings between both countries under the China--Australia Wool uality Working Group is the need for better understanding and technology transfer to Chinese processors. This message, in conjunction with the success of the wool quality workshop has led to a commitment from AWI, AWEX and AWTA to run another workshop in April 2008, and expand the focus to environmental best practice and global compliance associated with processing Australian Merino wool. ú More information: www.awttc.com.au; www.merinoinnovation.com Chinese buyers get a feel for Merino With an emphasis on hands-on learning, all par ticipants in these workshops in China reported their understanding of Australian Merino was improved by the course AWI is working on a range of major new projects in Vietnam's booming textile market, aimed at increasing global demand for Australian Merino. It has formed strategic partnerships with a number of leading mills and garment makers to develop new fabrics and active/sportswear using Merino wool and Merino wool blends. AWI is dealing with companies such as Nam Liong -- a key manufacturing partner of sports brand giants such as Adidas, Nike and Columbia Sportswear -- to develop circular knitted, Merino wool-blended fabrics for the sports industry. Nam Liong has previously focused on synthetic fibre production, but will now substantially increase the volume of new Merino wool business over the next five years. A number of other new Vietnamese partners are working with AWI to provide textiles or garments for major sports brands and clothing companies in the US, European Union and Japan. AWI provides its Vietnamese partners with a range of services including technical assistance, wool yarns for trial production, training, introduction of newly designed items, introduction of new buyers and visits to factories to enhance AWI's business strategy in Vietnam. Vietnam's textile and garment industry has developed rapidly in recent years and in 2004 employed 2.1 million people, or 4.7 per cent of total employment. Buyers from a number of the world's leading textile and apparel companies source apparel from Vietnam, including Express, Hucke, Itochu, JC Penney, Jupitar, Kmart, Kowa, Lee Cooper, Li & Fung, Sara Lee, Sumitomo, Tomen, Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria's Secret, VF Corporation and Wal-Mart. The Vietnamese government is highly supportive of the textile and garment sector with strong incentives for foreign investment, and expects that employment and exports in the sector will double by 2010. AWI's global sports/activewear manager Mark Brooks says the partnerships have been crucial in increasing opportunities for Merino wool in the global sports textile and attire market. "Merino wool is rapidly gaining a reputation as the wonder fibre of the sports and performance textile market," Mr Brooks says. "And these partnerships have enabled us to bring new ideas and training to manufacturers supplying some of the biggest sports companies in the world." Other AWI partners in Vietnam include : ú Thanh Cong Textile and Garment Joint Stock Company -- developing knitted fabric and garment items in wool and wool blends for sportswear for US export; ú Vietnam Wool Joint Stock Company -- developing sweaters in wool and wool blends for export to the US and the EU; ú Hapaco Textile and Garment Joint Stock Company -- developing knitted fabric and garments in wool and wool blends for sportswear for export to the US; and ú Dong Xuan Knitting Company -- developing knitted fabric and garment items in wool and wool blends for sportswear to export to the US. ú More information: www.merinoinnovation.com Wool being woven into Vietnam's emergence AWI is building par tnerships with numerous Vietnamese manufacturers to develop new fabrics and activewear in this increasingly powerful hub of the textile industry The Australian wool industry educating the Chinese textile industry on Australian Merino wool.
Oct 07 - Nov 07
Feb - Mar 08 Supplement