Carpet Range Linked To Single Farm A World First
16 November, 2005
Linked To Single Farm A World
For the first time, the concept of traceability back to an individual farm has been extended to the area of wool carpet.
Mt Somers Station in the Canterbury foothills has secured an agreement with prominent British carpet manufacturer Ryalux to supply wool for a dedicated range of Mt Somers branded carpet. The range is being marketed exclusively by the Greendale carpet group which has 140 member retailers throughout the UK.
The deal was brokered by Wool Interiors, the division of Canesis Network Ltd which owns the Wools of New Zealand brand, and provides wool technologies and research and development to 150 key New Zealand wool users internationally.
Wool Interiors general manager, Alistair Coleman, says that as the concept was being put together, Mt Somers Station was suggested by the Canterbury Romney consortium and proved to be a natural choice for this unique promotional opportunity.
“Not only does Mt Somers produce good, high quality Romney wool, we know they are committed and take a real pride in their wool. This means they can consistently present the quality and annual volumes that a large carpet manufacturer like Ryalux requires.
“This is essential because developing the new carpet range has involved an investment by Ryalux of more than $500,000. In addition, each Greendale carpet retailer has to purchase a dedicated display unit and therefore they need to know that this is a long term proposition,” says Alistair Coleman.
The Acland family have been significant farmers in the South Canterbury and Mt Somers area since 1856. The Mt Somers Station is jointly managed by Mark and Jo Acland, together with their son David and livestock manager Malcolm Clapperton. The 4,200 hectare block carries over 14,000 Romney breeding ewes and 4,500 hoggets, and produces 20,000 lambs a year.
“We are very pleased to be part of this project,” says Malcolm Clapperton, Mt Somers Station manager. “Not only is it very good to understand where our wool actually goes, we appreciate getting feedback from the manufacturer, given the pride we take in growing it and its preparation. We believe the direct links from grower to consumer are an important part of key business relationships to the benefit of us all.”
Ryalux is well known at the top end of the UK market for producing a wide range of colour choices for its carpet customers. The Mt Somers range features 96 colours over three main styles – Wellington Twist, Christchurch Velvet and Hamilton Berber.
The concept appealed to us because of the growing awareness of today’s consumers who want to know the exact origin of the natural products they purchase,” says Ryalux marketing manager, Phil Bevis. “The story of Mount Somers, together with the inherent qualities of New Zealand wool, have created a strong and attractive message for the browsing consumer and something powerful for the retail sales staff. We are particularly pleased with the display stand which has had a great reaction from retailers.”
The wool is exported by New Zealand Wool Services International Ltd and scoured at their Kaputone Wool Scour north of Christchurch.