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Beyond the Bale : June 2012
Woolmark licensees in Hong Kong and South China recently had the opportunity to experience a behind the scenes tour of two facilities integral to AWI's Woolmark licensee activities. In April, 22 delegates from nine companies visited SML, AWI's Woolmark ticket and label supplier, and GTT-Guangzhou Fibre Product Testing Institute, an AWI- authorised testing laboratory. The visit, led by staff from AWI's Hong Kong office provided a hands-on experience of the added value that Woolmark licences provide. The group observed the production of Woolmark tickets and labels, which are used on product to signify compliance with Woolmark testing standards. SML, a global apparel branding and packaging company, has produced the labels since 2010 when an overhaul of the Woolmark ticket and labeling system was carried out to provide a fresh design, new colour palette and eco-friendly paper stock, plus added security and a more efficient ordering process. All tickets and labels align with the AWI brand and comply with labeling laws internationally. The Woolmark tickets use state-of- the-art 'hidden image' technology to ensure authenticity. "When a special plastic credit-card-size reader is laid over an authentic swing ticket, it allows a hidden image to become visible," says Kirsten Berg, AWI's Acting General Manager, Global Business Development. "This technology provides consumers and licensees alike with peace of mind regarding the authenticity of Woolmark branded product." AWI carries out an ongoing program of monitoring authenticity with a number of 'readers' issued to AWI staff, business partners and other regulators to carry out checks globally. GTT is one of a number of laboratories globally which test wool product against Woolmark specifications, to enable the product to carry the Woolmark logo. The standards are set at a high level to maximise consumer satisfaction, in turn reducing the risk of product being returned. The visit to GTT allowed the delegates to experience the testing process with which their product must comply. While visiting the laboratory, the delegates were given a presentation by GTT and AWI staff to explain the process in detail. Product testing and Woolmark tickets and labels are just two of a range of services available to Woolmark licensees aimed at adding value to their business. Additional benefits include: marketing support, introductions to suitable supply chain partners and product development initiatives. The licensees involved in the visit were: Nameson Group, South Ocean Group, Crystal Group, Mintilex Knitting Ltd., Laws Group, Milo's Group, South Pacific Knitting Ltd., Dong Guan Ye Ji Industrial Co. Ltd. and Come Base Knitting Ltd. Delegates said they were very interested in the Woolmark label and ticket manufacturing process and the laboratory testing. "This was a good opportunity for us to understand the actual production process of the Woolmark labels and tickets at SML," said Mr Kim Choy, the manager of Mintilex Knitters Ltd. "The factory and laboratory visits are helpful and informative for our merchandising team. Certainly I would recommend my colleagues to join this kind of delegation from Woolmark in the future," said Mr Ernest Lee, the manager of Laws Group. More information: www.woolmark.com FAST FACTS l Delegates from nine Woolmark licensees in Hong Kong and South China have toured a labeling factory and a product testing laboratory to gain an appreciation of the some of the benefits of the Woolmark licensing program. l Woolmark labels and tickets provide an independent quality endorsement of licensees' products, thereby providing them with differentiation within the marketplace. l Woolmark specifications and standards are set at a high level to maximise consumer satisfaction. A group of Woolmark licensees watching the label finishing process at SML, Hong Kong. A Woolmark label. Licensees examine facilities June 2012 BEYOND THE BALE 16 OFF-FARM