Wool + waste = winner

15/10/2010

Wool Partners International  will be supplying wool for WoJo – a furnishing fabric developed for Starbucks.

The Wellington based design team The Formary created WoJoTM for Starbucks by combining LaneveTM wool, with its sustainable, ethical and traceable qualities, with jute from recycled coffee sacks, to form the new furnishing fabric.

The fabric uses 70% strong and mid fibre wool and the jute is recycled from Starbucks’ coffee sacks.

Mixing wool with waste has to be a winner – a natural product meets waste reduction.

 Federated Farmers meat and fibre spokesman Bruce Wills is excited about the venture:

“It’s an inspiring twist on the adage of something new and something old.

“While the initial focus of WoJo is upholstering Starbucks’ 8,000 stores outside of the United States, The Formary has really created a whole new ecologically friendly fabric.

“With the manufacturing partnership with Yorkshire-based Camira, we have a genuine opportunity to get wool back into people’s minds for their homes, offices, schools and even public transport.   Not just here but right around the globe.

“It’s easy to overlook the nearly $600 million that wool generates each year for New Zealand.  Yet we feel the potential is more than five times that sum, if, and that’s the key word, we can spark wool’s renaissance. 

“The Formary’s commitment to wool shows it is possible and we believe New Zealand Trade and Enterprise can see the vast potential that wool has. 

“It’s this kind of joined-up approach to market and product development with the exporters, that will make consumers take that all-important second look at wool. . . “

Wool should tick all the boxes for consumers who want a natural, renewable product and WoJo is a wonderful example of what can be done with it.

More good news followed this announcement – a continuing world shortage of wool is having a positive impact on the price.

Although meat companies often get blamed for the depressed state of the sheep industry, meat prices haven’t been bad. It’s low prices for wool and other by-products which have kept returns low.

Big losses in the southern snow storms and restocking will keep the supply of lambs low this season which will also help prices.


Meat prices positive but costs up too

15/06/2009

 Westpac and National Bank forecasts both paint a positive picture for meat in the next couple of years.

The only threat to meat prices appears to be the exchange rate, but the National Bank, in its Rural Report publication, said there was no reason the New Zealand dollar should stay high given the country’s high debt, large and ongoing current account deficit, and low to no economic growth.

It forecast two years of easing to about US49c before increasing to US60c.

Lamb prices have defied predictions of doom even in the face of a relatively high dollar, partly because of a drop in the ovine population after droughts in Australia and here. The large number of dairy conversions in the past couple of seasons have also led to steep falls in sheep numbers.

While supply has dropped, demand has been steady or risen.

The reports say the sheep meat industry should enjoy good conditions for two more years at least.

The reasons behind this season’s high prices – low lamb numbers, a weak pound against the Euro making UK lamb exports viable, and strong retail sales – should remain.

Farmers would also benefit from meat companies competing for lamb.

Some commentators were expecting a decrease in dining out as the recession bites to dampen demand for lamb but it appears any drop in orders from resaturants has been more than compensated for by increased sales at supermarkets as people rediscover the joys of home cooking.

Beef prices are a little more uncertain although reduced numbers after a big kill in the USA last season and on-going drought in Argentina will impact on supply.

Prices are only one half of the business equaiton and while they have gone up so too have costs.

Meat and Wool Economic Services survey of sheep and beef farm input prices show on-farm costs in the past year went up by 7.6% in the past year.

The biggest rise was in fertiliser which went up 33.8%;local body rates increased 5.6%; interest rates dropped by 6.7% and fuel prices dropped 14.2%.

The overall cumulative on-farm inflation for the five years to March 2009 was 32.2% and over 10 years on-farm inflation rose 50.4%

That compares with consumer prices which increased by 16% over five years.

If interest is excluded the underlying rate of on-farm inflation in the past year was was 10.7 per cent compared with 9.8 per cent for the previous year.

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