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First Time that NZ Farmers Take Finished Product to USA

Media Release
18th November 2010

Wool Equities supports Elders Primary Wool Just Shorn Initiative – First Time that NZ Farmers Take Finished Product to USA

Listed kiwi agriculture company Wool Equities Limited has joined Elders Primary Wool’s Just Shorn™ carpet and rug initiative in the United States.

In a move that Wool Equities has dubbed ‘a first for kiwi wool farmers taking a finished product to the USA’, Wool Equities has produced its handcrafted, Nepalese rugs for sale in 35 up-market International Design Guild stores in the USA under the Just Shorn brand.

The rugs all use premium Romney wool grown in New Zealand and purchased for the Just Shorn collection. The rugs represent a new range which has been designed for Elders Primary Wool retail partner the International Design Guild, with the high-end US consumer and interior designers in mind.

In addition, from December onwards, Wool Equities will add to the rug range of Just Shorn product already available in International Design Guild Stores, with two ranges of very-high-quality wool broadloom carpet for 85 of their stores. The broadloom carpets have been made for Wool Equities and are on their way to the USA.

Wool Equities has signed a Master Supplier Agreement with International Design Guild’s parent company, CCA Global Partners to allow access for these products under the Just Shorn brand.

All wool for Wool Equities’ Just Shorn broadloom carpet is being spun into yarn, containing Verifi TT tracer fibre, in New Zealand for Wool Equities at Christchurch Yarns NZ Ltd.

“This is the first time that New Zealand wool farmers – who are, by and large, our investors – have taken a finished wool product to the USA, and we’ve been able to do this through our association with Elders Primary Wool who owns Just Shorn,” says Keith Cowan, General Manager of Wool Equities Limited. “We believe the relationship between Elders Primary Wool and Wool Equities will grow. It’s adding value at the top of the market, in exclusive stores where New Zealand wool products need to be."

The range of rugs resonates with evocative kiwi names such as Riverton, Middlemarch, Kingston Crossing, Foxton and Mahia. These names were chosen by International Design Guild, because they spoke to the US customer of the green pastures of rural New Zealand – the origins of the high quality wool used in Just Shorn branded carpets and rugs. The Just Shorn carpet range has been similarly named.

“Elders Primary Wool is absolutely delighted to have Wool Equities producing carpet and rugs under the Just Shorn brand,” says Elders Primary Wool Chairman Stuart Chapman. “The involvement of so many kiwi companies is a virtuous circle in the wool sector. New Zealand benefits from the participation of Wool Equities because, as a company, it is focused on New Zealand wool farmers and on expanding New Zealand’s wool sector. Their use of Christchurch Yarn NZ Ltd also means adding value in New Zealand. And finally, because Elders Primary Wool is owned 50% by farmers, returns for this high end product – further Just Shorn carpets - will accrue directly to them through the wool they sell. This is a great New Zealand story” Nepal also benefits. The Nepalese rugs are made in Nepal by artisans who have been doing so for generations.

“The partnership helps provide economic independence for Nepalese families,” says Mr Cowan.

“The International Design Guild is impressed with the beauty and quality of these wool rugs and carpets produced by Wool Equities,” says Krista Eliason, President of the International Design Guild (a CCA Global Partners Company).

ENDS

Just Shorn (www.justshorn.com) is a trademark owned by Wool Marketing Enterprises under which a range of carpet is being manufactured by multiple manufacturers. All are using pure, sustainable New Zealand wool – grown for Elders Primary Wool. The carpets are traceable back to New Zealand because they incorporate a Verifi TT fibre during manufacture which authenticates their origins. Just Shorn Wool is high quality. Wool Marketing Enterprises is owned by Elders Primary Wool which is a 50/50 joint venture between farmer-owned cooperative Primary Wool Cooperative Limited; and Elders Rural Holdings Limited.

About International Design Guildhttp://www.design-guild.com/ International Design Guild is a cooperative of over 100 independent, high end flooring retailers throughout North America. The cooperative is run by CCA Global Partners www.ccaglobalpartners.com one of the largest flooring specialists in the USA and one of the largest privately owned companies. International Design Guild owner operators and staff are renowned for selecting premier floor coverings, and for their training programmes, expertise and assistance.

Wool Equities Limited (www.woolequities.co.nz) is a New Zealand listed public company owned by 7,800 predominantly wool grower shareholders. Its goal is to be the catalyst which revives the wool industry for the benefit of its shareholders and all parties associated with the successful manufacture and sale of quality wool products.

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