Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Strong Wool Sector Gets Collaborative And Consumer Focused

31 August: A renewed focus on stimulating consumer-led innovation will be brought to the strong wool sector with the establishment of the Strong Wool Action Group.

The Strong Wool Action Group is a collaboration of representatives from across the primary sector who have come together to carry out the recommendations of the Wool Industry Project Action Group report, which was released in July this year.

The group’s Chair Rob Hewett said the group would lead change in the sector by bringing a broad range of skills and consumer focus to the challenges facing strong wool.

The group comprises people representing existing companies in the wool sector, people with marketing and innovation expertise, as well as four red meat processing and marketing companies who have committed seed funding to the group, alongside funding from MPI. Additions to the group will be made in the future as capability requirements evolve.

“Success of strong wool underpins the sheep meat sector and we have a vested interest in the sector’s success.

“The red meat sector players saw this as an opportunity to help galvanize the strong wool sector. We want to provide stimulus to the value of the 5th quarter which includes wool, and non-meat products such as pelts, pharmaceuticals, and casings, and support our sheep farmers who need to see a lift in the profitability of their wool to ensure the ongoing viability of hill country farming in New Zealand.

“We will provide scale and impetus to ensure we help get meaningful change in the industry to influence the future of the sector.”

The Strong Wool Action Group will work on three key areas identified in the Wool Industry Project Action Group report over the coming months to develop a plan of action for the sector.

“We will re-establish some important industry good capability, bring in international consumer-focused thinking from outside the sector, and identify a basket of opportunities for investment that will create value – all recommendations from the report,” says Mr Hewett.

“Since the loss of the wool levy, we have not had the structures or rigor around improving capability within the sector. This includes data capture and analysis so we can move beyond anecdotal evidence and identify sound opportunities for investment.

“’Outside in thinking’ is a concept that the New Zealand agribusiness sector has been exposed to through the work of Stanford University marketing expert Baba Shiv as part of the NZTE supported Te Hono movement. It has been proven to stimulate innovation and help create products consumers value. We believe this will help the strong wool sector as it has for fine wool.

“We will look for commercial opportunities that industry players can invest in that are value creating. Wool is a high quality and versatile product, with sustainability attributes that can’t be ignored. The report showed the sector has been starved of the capital it needs to develop innovative consumer led products and new categories, which are scalable for a global market.”

Collaboration and alignment with a wider vision for the food and fibre sector will be central to the group’s success.

“The approach aligns with the Primary Sector Council’s Te Taiao vision for the sector where they are seeking market game changers to tell our unique New Zealand story in a valuable way,” says Mr Hewett.

“We expect to be able to identify consumer-led opportunities and support individual players in accessing the Ministry of Primary Industries’ existing funding pools, which includes taking part in an MPI workshop currently being organised to look at options for strong wool.

“We have strong support of the Minister of Agriculture Hon Damien O’Connor. The Minister wants a vibrant rural community and economy and we want to play our part to create opportunities for the strong wool sector so we can break out of the current stalemate it is in.

“The group intends to work with anyone in the sector as we work through this plan. And we welcome the opportunity to discuss our intentions for strong wool.

“The group contains a mix of industry continuity and outside thinking so that we can make change.”

The initial Strong Wool Action Group members include:

Rob Hewett, Kate Acland, Paul Alston, Tony Balfour, David Ferrier, Craig Hickson, Andrew Morrison, Tom O’Sullivan, John Rodwell, Nadine Tunley, Peter Whiteman, Steve Williamson.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Auckland Transport: Successful Bridge Repair Opens Two Additional Lanes To Traffic

The opening of two additional lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning will help relieve some motorway congestion for motorists heading home to the North Shore tonight. More>>


Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>


Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>


MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>


University Of Auckland: Whale-Watching By Satellite – Follow Their Travels Online

Scientists have successfully attached satellite tracking tags to six New Zealand southern right whales, or tohorā, and are inviting the public to follow the whales’ travels online. Part of a major research project involving the University of Auckland ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Kiwibank Admits System Failures And Agrees To Pay Customers $5.2 Million

Kiwibank has entered into a settlement agreement with the Commerce Commission after reporting that it failed to have in place robust home loan variation disclosure policies, procedures and systems. In a settlement dated 27 August 2020, Kiwibank admitted that ... More>>

Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>


NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>


Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>