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Beyond the Bale : December 2014
LIFETIME EWE MANAGEMENT (LTEM) APP AWI has developed and launched an LTEM smartphone app which is suited for woolgrowers who have completed or are in the process of completing the popular LTEM course. Having evolved from the course notes, the free LTEM app incorporates all the key estimations and calculations of feed on offer, condition scoring, feed budgeting and supplementary feeding calculations. The development of the smartphone app means woolgrowers can now carry with them millions of dollars of research and extension in their pocket and make day-to-day decisions to optimize flock management. This is an example of how AWI is creating innovative, practical and low-cost solutions to help woolgrowers improve the profitability of their businesses. WOOL SELLING SYSTEMS REVIEW A Wool Selling Systems Review (WSSR) has been commissioned by AWI on behalf of shareholders. The scope of this review is to study the exchange of ownership process between the seller (the woolgrower) and the first buyer (usually an exporter or processor) and the associated costs and processes that sit within the current industry selling system. The aim is to reduce costs within the exchange of ownership process and increase competitive tension at the point of sale. The panel intends to release an ‘Issues Statement’ before the end of December 2014 and submissions from industry will be invited at that time. The WSSR will run for a 12 month period and the final report is expected to be made available from October 2015. AWI STRATEGIC PLAN The end of this calendar year marks the half- way point in the company’s three year Strategic Plan. I am optimistic about achieving the large majority of the three-year targets in the Plan. The progress the company made in the first of the three years in achieving the targets set out in the Strategic Plan is detailed in the AWI Annual Report, available at www.wool.com/ annualreport. Our on-farm R&D portfolio remains a very important part of the business – expenditure in this area increased last financial year. The on-farm portfolio continues to develop and promote products and practices to directly reduce woolgrowers’ cost of production on-farm through innovations in areas such as sheep health and nutrition, genetic technologies to breed more productive sheep, pastures and grazing, and shearing and wool handling. THE WOOLMARK BRAND’S 50-YEAR ANNIVERSARY As we look back on 2014 and the 50th anniversary of the world-famous Woolmark brand, it’s pleasing to see that its enduring appeal continues to deliver significant returns to Australian woolgrowers who own it. It has been applied to more than five billion products worldwide since it was first launched in 1964, and is now being widely used to promote Australian wool through all of AWI’s global marketing campaigns. INTERNATIONAL WOOLMARK PRIZE We are delighted to announce that acclaimed fashion designers Victoria Beckham and Paul Smith will head two distinguished panels to judge the women’s and men’s finals of the International Woolmark Prize in 2015. Victoria Beckham will be joined by other fashion industry heavyweights including Editor-in- Chief of Vogue Italia, Franca Sozzani, and Editor-at-Large of Vogue China, Angelica Cheung. Paul Smith will sit alongside other industry greats including Editor-at-Large of Style.com, Tim Blanks, and Editor-in-Chief of GQ UK, Dylan Jones. The participation of such well-known and illustrious personalities will help generate even more interest in the awards and help reinforce the presence of Australian Merino wool in the international fashion industry. EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES FOR SCHOOLS In conjunction with the launch of our latest Wool4School Merino wool fashion design competition, a new ‘Learn About Wool’ website has been developed by AWI in conjunction with Australian teachers. It provides online resources developed with the Australian curriculum in mind and can easily be implemented into everyday classroom activities. It provides a hands-on opportunity for teachers and their primary and secondary students to investigate and be inspired by every aspect of the wool production process. CAMPAIGN FOR WOOL The Campaign for Wool was celebrated on an unprecedented global scale during the northern hemisphere autumn with many countries creating their own programs of activity to celebrate International Wool Week. This included some of our key consumer markets such as France, China, UK, Japan, Korea, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Campaign for Wool has been instrumental in driving a new demand for wool on an international scale. AWI AGM 2014 AWI held its 2014 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday 21 November in Sydney. At the AGM, I gave a detailed presentation of the activities of the company during 2013/14. AWI shareholders who were unable to attend the AGM in person were able to view the AGM proceedings via webcast and also had the opportunity to submit questions online for the AWI Chairman and CEO. As well as being broadcast live, the broadcast is now available to be viewed on demand on the AWI website at www.wool.com/2014agm STUART McCULLOUGH CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AUSTRALIAN WOOL INNOVATION 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. UPFRONT 3