HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : March 2013
3 March 2013 BEYOND THE BALE UPFRONT Getting on with business We are continuing with initiatives to help increase the demand for wool through investments in marketing and R&D – from farm to fashion. I would like to inform you of some recent activities in which the organisation has been involved. International Woolmark Prize: This initiative is wholly aimed at increasing the global demand for wool. This year’s competition has been incredibly successful at showcasing the versatility and quality of Merino wool to the fashion and textile industries and consumers. It has gained extraordinary momentum over the past 12 months, generating significant interest across the globe. Even prior to last month’s finals event in London, we calculate that the initiative had generated media exposure worth $27 million. Through this competition, we now have a network of the world’s leading influencers of fashion – at the jury, designer and media level – endorsing wool, and broader recognition of the fibre’s qualities amongst consumers across the world. We will continue with, and expand, the award next year. AWI three year Strategic Plan: The direction given by woolgrowers at WoolPoll 2012 will form the basis of AWI’s new three-year Strategic Plan, which outlines key areas of AWI activity and investment for the three financial years 2013/14 to 2015/16. We are consulting with woolgrowers and their representatives to ensure that industry views are incorporated into the plan. Last month we held a Woolgrower Consultation Forum in Sydney and also a meeting of the Woolgrower Industry Consultative Committee (ICC), which comprises delegates of woolgrower representative organisations, to discuss a draft of the plan. Review of lifetime productivity: The proposed new Lifetime Productivity Project aims to improve the acceptance and adoption of genetic benchmarking. It would examine whether early-life assessment of a Merino ewe’s productivity is a good indicator of actual lifetime productivity. Broad and detailed consultation will begin this month, and a decision on the funding the project is likely later this year after a significant amount of due diligence is completed on information that already exists in breeder and in past R&D flocks. National Merino Challenge: The National Merino Challenge is a new initiative from AWI to improve the engagement of young people interested in the Merino industry. It aims to develop senior secondary and tertiary students’ knowledge, skills and networks through a national breeding competition. The aim is to impart vital skills and knowledge to the next generation of Merino producers and those servicing the industry. Attracting farm staff: With 45 per cent of farm staff over 50 years of age, it’s important for the sustainability of the industry to attract younger people into the workforce. AWI has produced some fact sheets that provide some practical advice for employers to attract and retain farm workers – see page 30 for details. And in another new initiative, AWI has sponsored the development and production of a new safety signage kit for woolsheds to help woolgrowers ensure they provide their staff with professional shed conditions in which to work – see page 40 for details. Educational resources for schools: A new educational kit from AWI will enable primary and secondary students to be inspired by wool. The “Learn about Wool” kit provides a hands-on opportunity for teachers and their students to investigate every aspect of the wool production process, through a package that contains electronic media, printed material and fibre and fabric samples. This new initiative complements our “Wool4Skool” project, now in its third year, which provides high school students with an opportunity to take part in a real life fashion design experience using Merino wool fabrics. Wool in sports/outdoor apparel: AWI continues to cement Merino fibre’s presence in the sports and outdoor market, collaborating with leading manufacturers and brands to promote the natural benefits of wool as a performance fibre. A majority of the world’s leading outdoor brands now incorporate Merino wool innovations in their collections. And while there has been widespread uptake of Merino wool in next-to-skin apparel, Merino wool is also now emerging as a fibre used in outerwear and lining. Trans-seasonal wool: Following our successful launch of the Cool Wool program to the textile trade early last year, we have now launched the retail campaign which focuses on educating consumers about the natural performance benefits of lightweight Merino fabrics. The campaign was launched in the Middle East and is being extended globally. The aim is to extend the traditional wool buying season. Complementing this initiative is the launch of the Spring/Summer 2014 edition of The Wool Lab, which is a seasonal guide to the world’s best commercially available wool fabrics and yarns. The initial response from the trade has been positive, with new enquiries up 20 per cent compared with the previous edition of the guide. Stuart McCullough Chief Executive Officer, Australian Wool Innovation