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Beyond the Bale : Aug - Sep 08
3 AWI NEWS BEYONd THE BALE CHaIrMaN’s ColuMN Embracing the realities of today’s marketplace Australian Merino wool has established a great position to have a major impact on the global apparel market now and in the coming years. the australian wool industry has a fantastic natural story to market. We are telling our international retailers and brands that our farmers have the sustainable production systems, heritage and know-how to continue to offer the best wool in the world, long into the future. they, in turn, are telling the world’s consumers. the most important strategic direction is to move into affordable luxury. this will be backed up by innovations in wool products and smart marketing from aWI. the demographics of key markets are in our favour. the increasingly large number of consumers with high disposable incomes, and living longer and healthier lives, will underpin our marketing partners’ ability to sell your wool. We are, however, competing in a highly competitive and dynamic global marketplace.there are many challenges facing the australian wool industry today: our consumer markets are under great economic pressure, sales of clothing in the us and europe are under enormous downward pressure, and retailers are now carrying excess stock. What can we at aWI and woolgrowers do? Part of your challenge is to make the Merino wool industry as environmentally friendly as possible; from the humane treatment of animals, through to sustainable pastures, ‘green’ processing of fabrics and beyond. retailers and consumers tell us this is what they want to sell. We have heard this message. our competitors are trying to mimic the innovations and properties that make wool an increasingly attractive fibre in the world of garments and fashion. We must continue to innovate, be quick to deliver these innovations to the market and utilise our resources with our partners to undertake clever marketing strategies. your business, aWI, is up to this challenge and we will need your support to do this – a great product, clever innovations and smart marketing will achieve a better position in the global marketplace. I fully understand that there is growing concern that sheep numbers are declining and this is primarily happening in the mixed-farming enterprises across australia. grain prices are good, but input costs are now significantly higher than 12 months ago. Wool and the Merino can come into their own. Recently we have made changes to our business to make sure that we can effectively compete on a global scale. Following the integration of the Woolmark Company into aWI,we are running an expanded global marketing company. the appointment in april of the three new directors – Ken Boundy, robyn Clubb and john Keniry – will increase the marketing, finance and business skills base of the Board. a very important part of the new expertise is that they are here as professional business operators and have only one goal: to increase demand and returns for woolgrowers. the three new directors bring extensive experience in public company governance and in global business strategy, marketing, finance and the commercialisation of innovation to the Board of aWI. each of the three new directors has had a very successful career in different business sectors, but all have an understanding of the paddock-to-consumer supply chain that aWI works with to add value for australian woolgrowers. Ken Boundy’s particular expertise is in international marketing – his last full-time role embraced the international marketing of australia as managing director of tourism australia. Ken spent the early part of his career as a research agronomist and regional director of agriculture in victoria; subsequent leadership roles in the private sector have embraced global marketing and operations in the wine, food and building materials industries. He understands the challenges faced by aWI, and brings a commitment to work with other directors in global leadership, and in particular to increasing the global demand for australian Merino wool. Robyn Clubb has experience as a senior executive and company director in the finance and funds management sector. she is a former managing director of aMP Banking in New Zealand and held a number of senior management roles within the aMP group, Citibank, Prudential assurance Company australia ltd and Hambros australia ltd. Her international experience has also included assignments in China and the uK. robyn is currently a director of elders rural Bank and the Beef CrC, the Deputy Chair of the rice Marketing Board of NsW, and holds other public and private sector directorships. John Keniry, who is known to many of you, is one of australian agribusiness’s most experienced and respected company directors and brings global business experience to the Board. john is Chair of ridley Corporation ltd, the sheep Industry Innovation CrC, and the Pork CrC, and a board member of the australian Farm Institute, the NsW environment Protection authority and Innovation australia. He was a director of Woolstock australia ltd, and chaired WoolPoll 2000, 2003 and 2006, and the 2005 Commonwealth review of the live animal export Industry. He owns a mixed farming and fine wool property in Central Western NsW. these Board appointments bring substantial marketing and commercial expertise and add to the existing skills base of the Board. the appointments are an essential part of aWI’s transition from being an australian r&D organisation into an international fibre research and marketing company. aWI is an organisation that has changed dramatically in the past few years, and is now in a strong position to meet the challenge of building a new position for australian Merino in the global marketplace. as Chairman of aWI, I take very seriously the responsibility of managing and investing australian woolgrowers’ funds. every woolgrower works very hard and capably to invest in the future and I have committed to extracting value from the supply chain through to the retailers, to make sure that your businesses have every opportunity to be profitable today and in the future. – BrIaN vaN rooyeN,CHaIrMaN BrIaN vaN rooyeN
Jun - July 08
Oct - Nov 08