A war of words has broken out between the Wool Exporters Council and Wool Partners Co-operative.
WPC in return says that wool merchants and exporters aligned with the WEC are trying to undermine efforts to float the co-op.
While that’s going on there has been good news for the industry.
Wool Partners has made a second premium offer to growers who can supply high quality wool required by two British carpet manufacturers.
America’s largest carpet manufacturer has joined Wools of New Zealand’s Clean Air Certified programme.
Wool Partners International Chief Executive Officer Iain Abercrombie says Karastan’s certification and adoption of the programme is a further endorsement of the work Wools of New Zealand is undertaking to position New Zealand wool as the premier natural carpet fibre, produced in ethically sustainable manner.
“This is further verification of the programmes we have been discussing with New Zealand growers to gain the recognition and the true value of the high quality wools they produce.”
“It is intensive marketing backed by technical expertise developed by Wools of New Zealand, to delight consumers with the sheer luxury of naturally produced New Zealand wool.”
Programmes like this also require research and that’s been given a boost by the government.
Minister of Agriculture David Carter and Minister of Research, Science and Technology Wayne Mapp announced the investment of $17.25 million over five years in a wool research consortium tasked with lifting the economic return of the wool industry.
“The success of the strong wool sector hinges on developing new uses and markets for the industry – and with the growers themselves realising its full potential,” says Mr Carter.
“We are committed to growing New Zealand’s export earnings from wool fibre, and from value-added wool products developed through market-led research programmes,” Dr Mapp says.
The consortium participants are the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand Inc (WRInc), and other New Zealand industry stakeholders. Key providers will include AgResearch and New Zealand universities. . .
“The wool industry is collaborating across the value chain to address key research questions, and the Government is supporting them,” says Dr Mapp.
Mr Carter says increased research and development for the wool sector was one of the key recommendations of his Wool Taskforce, which presented its report last year.
“The Wool Research Organisation’s constructive engagement through the Wool Unity Group has shown what can be achieved by better cohesion and co-operation within the wool industry,” Mr Carter says.
Collaboration and co-operation are working to good effect for research. It would also help with the marketing and wool exporters would be better employed concentrating on work which would maximise returns for growers than bickering with WPC which is trying to do that.