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Bring Back The Woolmark--We’ll Help Growers Pay

Exporters lay down a challenge

Bring Back The Woolmark--We’ll Help Growers Pay For It

More than 40 wool industry leaders, who are not aligned to the new PGG Wrightson wool company, want to see international wool promotion resurrected and they’re offering to help fund it from their own pockets.

The Wool Exporters Council threw out a challenge to the Meat and Wool Board to match them dollar for dollar by restructuring the present levy money so it can once again be used for international promotion.

Wool brokers, private buyers, wool scourers and manufacturers are determined to look for positive and proactive solutions for the ailing wool industry, chief executive for the exporters’ council Mr Nick Nicholson said.

“We all recognise the industry’s in crisis and unless we all pitch in and help wool growers achieve better returns, sheep numbers will continue to plummet,” Mr Nicholson said.

“What’s good for the wool grower has got to be good for all of us and for the first time there is serious unity in the wool industry,” he said.

The group met in Christchurch on Friday and the exporters’ council has been mandated to open discussions with the Woolmark and look at ways New Zealand can join the international promotion of crossbred wool, Mr Nicholson said.

The wool selling pipeline as it exists at the moment is highly efficient, but it has often been painted differently.

The meeting was very firm that the structure that had been announced by the new Wool Company chairman Theresa Gattung is flawed and will only replicate what is already in existence without achieving any efficiencies or benefits.

“Likewise the suggestion that promoting another New Zealand wool brand will fail again. What’s needed is a united worldwide promotion of the generic benefits of wool and the re-education of an entire generation of shoppers who have never been told about it.

“The Woolmark is a highly efficient organisation that’s already doing the work. Why would New Zealand growers once again pay millions of dollars to set up parallel marketing and promotion systems?

Mr Nicholson said growers attending the meeting urged the exporters to meet with Ms Gattung and the soon to be announced CEO.

Exporters said they had tried several times and either been rebuffed or ignored and suggested that the growers should take a message back to the Trade and Enterprise and Meat and Wool Board funded Wool Industry Network, which has been given $5 million to be “the catalyst for change”

The exporters will report their progress and an update to the National Council of Wool Interests which is attended by all industry sectors.

Mr Nicholson said his members exported 80 percent of the New Zealand clip and the Federation of Private Wool Merchants, plus independent wool brokers bought around 65 percent from farms or at auction.


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