A delegation representing Australia’s woolgrowers has told customers throughout Europe that continued supply of Australian wool depends on a fair price being paid.
The delegation led by Yass woolgrower Barry Walker, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Director Dr Meredith Sheil and AWI Strategic Adviser Stuart McCullough met with processors in Italy, Germany and the UK and delivered a powerful message … “if you want the world’s best wool – produced to the world’s highest ethical standards – then you just have to ask for it and pay for it”.
According to Barry Walker the realisation that large amounts of ethically produced wool were already on the market came as a relief to processors.
“It was an important trip … so that we could look these customers in the eye and assure them the Australian industry had listened to their concerns,” Mr Walker said.
“We were able to tell them that in the six months since the introduction of the National Wool Declaration (July 08), over 68,000 bales or more than 10 million kilos had been sold identified as either Non-Mulesed (NM), Ceased Mulesed (CM) or Mulesed with Pain Relief (PR).
“This represents a greater amount of apparel wool than from any other major wool producing country - like New Zealand, South Africa or Uruguay.”
AWI Chairman Wal Merriman said informing international customers empowered them to purchase Australian wool knowing they could satisfy their corporate social responsibility policies.
“We are encouraging retailers and processors to source their wool in line with their corporate social responsibility standards through their existing supply chain arrangements.
“Wool is now clearly identified and readily available through the auction system and supply chain alliances”, he said.
“While this milestone is great news, AWI continues its investment in the pursuit of better animal welfare outcomes and alternative flystrike prevention solutions.
“Millions of dollars has been spent to-date on projects such as clips, intradermals, breeding, integrated parasite management and pain relief studies.
“AWI remains focused on developing viable alternatives and we have in-fact increased program expenditure since the change of the AWI Board in November 2008.
He said AWI continued to research viable alternatives and present shareholders with a range of choices for them to use in their wool-growing enterprises.
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