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Beyond the Bale : December 2012
20 20 off-farm December 2012 BeYOnd The BALe and manufacturers in the region earlier this year, woolgrower Michael Blake of ‘ Bally Glunin Park’ , Hamilton, Victoria also attended briefings at AWI’s offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Following the visit, Mr Blake said he had been impressed with what he saw and heard from staff. “ For some years I have been outspoken against much of AWI’s commitment into Asia, but my trip really opened my eyes to what the company has been doing there and the potential for the future,” Mr Blake said. “ The presentations and physical sample products presented to us by AWI demonstrate this – I could not believe the practical woollen fabrics that were shown to us, and their potential. You had to be there to appreciate the yarn and fabric development work that was being done with Merino wool. “ The region’s processing and garment manufacture is as good as any I have seen and through their research and utilising wool’s unique properties their new garment ranges are brilliant. “ I have also just returned from London Wool Week and Biella where I showed a number of processors, fashion houses, fashion and design students and retailers some of the Hong Kong samples and they were very excited about what was generating from research in Hong Kong. “ While in Hong Kong, my wife Cathy and I were also privileged to sit in the front row at the young designers’ fashion show. We fully support AWI’s initiatives to help foster young designers to use wool. “ The trip has reinforced my belief that we can’t go wrong breeding and growing high quality good processing wools, both Merino and crossbred.” faST facTS l Woolgrowers visiting Hong Kong said they have been impressed with the work being done by AWI in the region. l AWI does marketing, product development and education in the region to help build demand for wool. l As the gateway for southern and eastern Chinese wool processors and manufacturers, Hong Kong is a global hub for sourcing wool garments particularly for the major US and European brands. Woolgrowers visiting Hong Kong have expressed their support for the work being done by AWI in the region. As the gateway for southern and eastern Chinese wool processors and manufacturers, Hong Kong is one of the world’s major knitwear exporters and a global hub for sourcing wool garments particularly for the major US and European brands. Woolgrower groups from Australia often travel to the region to visit the factories involved in transforming their fibre into yarns, fabrics and apparel products ready for global retail markets. And whilst in Hong Kong, the woolgrower groups also often arrange a visit to the AWI office to learn about the marketing, product development and education work that AWI is doing in the region, on behalf of Australian woolgrowers, to build demand for wool. As part of a woolgrower delegation, organised by Fox & Lillie, visiting mills A woolgrower tour led by Bevan Jolly of Elders Dubbo also recently visited the AWI Hong Kong office. Gordon Cox of ‘Langdene’, Dunedoo, NSW, who was on tour, said that he was impressed with the breadth and intensity of work that AWI was doing in the Hong Kong region, and also the enthusiasm that the AWI staff displayed. “We walked away after the meeting feeling that the AWI representatives could not have been more passionate about what they are doing. “The staff showed us wool fabric samples of new product innovations – such as 3-D, see-through and vintage effects – that had been developed in collaboration with AWI’s business partners, and which are inspiring brands to introduce more wool into their collections. “They also put a tremendous effort into helping educate manufacturers in the region about Merino wool, regularly holding seminars on technical topics, such as garment production, as well as promotional topics, such as the benefits of Merino wool. “There’s of course a big emphasis on providing marketing support to brands and retailers, which involves activities ranging from help in providing point-of-sale material to providing training to retail staff to enable them to promote Merino apparel more effectively to their customers. “I was particularly impressed with the amount of work they are doing to promote Merino and the Woolmark brand to a younger generation. There was a real feeling of vibrancy to their work. “I’d say that the growers on the visit felt that their levy money was being very well spent.” australian woolgrowers on a visit to the aWI office in Hong Kong.