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Relationship for Romney & Elders reaping rewards

New relationship for Romney and Elders reaping rewards for growers

Romney NZ Ltd and Elders New Zealand Ltd are pleased to announce they have entered into a support and supply relationship that will reap direct rewards for Romney growers.

On behalf of the Romney growers group Elders has brokered a deal in the US with Everett Deneane Inc to sell Nepalese hand-woven rugs made of NZ Romney wool.

Everett Deneane is a leader in the US luxury rug industry, facilitating sales and distribution to large retail outlets.

The quarter-inch (15mm) pile rugs are a joint venture between Romney NZ Ltd and a group of Nepal based artisans and the luxury products are targeting the lucrative interior decoration market in the US.

The CEO of Everett Deneane Mr Bob Ball said he had a long association with Nepalese wool flooring products and was proud to advocate these products. “They are great to have in your home and to live your life on and I’m excited to be able to offer this exclusive product to my customers,” he said.

After the New Zealand grown wool is inspected it is sent to Nepal where Nepali and Tibetan artisans add a small amount of Tibetan wool to increase even further the durability of the pile. The wool is hand-spun into yarn, dyed using eco-friendly dyes, sun dried, then woven into a rug by hand looms. Once finished, the rug is washed and the three dimensional designs are then carved into the pile.

The made-to-order product has already gained interest from interior designers and luxury retailers in the US but there is plenty of room for growth. Currently over 90% of carpets and rugs sold in the US are synthetic but the recent trend towards sustainable and eco products as been a catalyst for retailers to move towards wool products.

Romney NZ Chairman, Hugh Taylor is pleased that the relationship with Elders, which looks to add significant value to Romney wool produced from registered Romney sheep or those sired by registered Romney sires, has progressed to this stage.

“It’s wonderful to secure a market for our Nepalese products and without Elders it would have been impossible to move into the US market,” said Mr Taylor. “This initiative is one of several that are developing rapidly between Elders and Romney NZ. While these other initiatives are in the early stages they have the potential to use significant volumes of New Zealand Romney wool.”

Romney NZ Ltd represents approximately 100 registered ram breeders with a customer base of approximately 1000 commercial farmers who sell their wool fibre to the global carpet industry. They makes up close to 15% of the national wool clip.

Elders, with its exporting arm JS Brooksbank, and marketing interest Wool Marketing Enterprises, will act on behalf of Romney NZ as a channel to their market through its global supply chains and supplying marketing support.

Elders NZ Ltd said the deal was part of its recently announced initiative to boost the earnings of New Zealand’s strong-wool growers, with Romney NZ and its growers being key participants in the sector.

“This partnership provides Romney NZ with support to assist getting our product to its end market in a way that has the potential to provide real value, and reverse the trend of recent years of putting no emphasis on producing quality wool. We see the ultimate goal will be to gain a higher sustainable dollar value for wool growers associated with Romney NZ. If we are able to achieve our objectives of increased value for Romney wool it will make dual purpose breeds such as pure Romney very profitable,” says Hugh Taylor Romney NZ chair.

Stuart Chapman Managing Director of Elders New Zealand Ltd says, “We are very excited by this new relationship and we look forward to working closely with Romney NZ. It is our intention to undertake other mutually beneficial activities as opportunities arise. We are serious about our commitment to the wool industry in New Zealand and it is our goal to grow our wool business.”


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