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Elders Wool traceability trial a success

Media Release - 14 August 2009

Elders Wool traceability trial a success

Elders Primary Wool (EPW) and AgResearch have completed the second phase of testing and proving their Verifi TT technology. The technology, developed by AgResearch, will enable Elders Primary Wool to prove to consumers that carpets carrying the Just Shorn TM brand contain premium New Zealand strong wool supplied by Elders.

“With a large number of steps in the production of carpet, there has always been a risk that inferior wool could be added. “While paper audit trails do exist, the industry as a whole is very aware that blending lesser quality wool with New Zealand wool in order to gain a better return on investment takes place,” said Elders Managing Director Stuart Chapman.

“The results of the larger scale tests carried out by AgResearch are clear – we can add the Verifi TT fibre in very early in the carpet manufacturing process and they get an accurate reading from the finished carpet verifying its New Zealand origin.”

“Elders’ significant investment to purchase the world-wide carpet rights to this technology is looking to pay off. This is an important step in the journey to deliver better returns to wool growers.”

Dr Peter Ingham and Peter Brorens from AgResearch are also pleased with the results.

“It is always exciting to take an idea we have developed, through comprehensive testing, enroute to becoming a product that will make a significant difference to the earnings of New Zealand farmers. The ability to ensure that only New Zealand wool can be sold as New Zealand wool is a huge achievement for Elders and AgResearch and one that holds plenty of promise for New Zealand’s export returns,” said Ingham.

The strong wool, including the Verifi TT fibre was spun into yarn and two carpets were produced, one loop-pile and the other cut-pile.

A scan of both carpets with the Verifi TT scanner gave positive identification within 15- 60 seconds, with identical results on all the carpet samples from the 3 tonne batch. The verification can be performed at any stage of the production process without the need for laboratory testing

“CCA Global Partners and their suppliers are extremely excited about this technology and what it offers to them in terms of assurance,” said Stuart Chapman. “Working with retailers is a strategy and a model that is different from what others have tried before and we are targeting a very specific market segment. Traceability is important to our market (US luxury consumers) and we are excited by the progress we have been making to date. It’s taken us longer than we hoped to get to this point, and we are grateful for the continued support and patience of our grower clients as we work towards a launch of Just Shorn branded product early next year.”

Elders also acknowledged the support of Canterbury Woolscourers, Canterbury Spinners and Godfrey Hirst in completing this trial.


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