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Australian wool growers are being urged to class more of the clip

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Wool growers are being urged to class more of their clip, to alleviate a shortage of well-prepared wool.

ABC Rural reported that the president of the Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors, Chris Kelly, said growers would be rewarded with hefty premiums of up to 10 per cent.

Mr Kelly said that because the volume of Australian wool had declined by two thirds since 1990, the market needs more of the clip to be classed to the industry code of practice.

“I want an evenly and well prepared clip to be able to buy,” Mr Kelly said.”The wool classers are critical. “They are the last people to see the wool before it is put into the processing machines. “While we see a five-kilo representative sample, the classer sees every fleece. In difficult financial times there is a lot of pressure on them, I imagine. But we want them to keep doing what they’re doing and doing it as best they can.”

Mr Kelly said wool consuming countries outside China need wool differentiated by micron and style, and preferably skirted as well. He said the commodity mentality, whereby wool growers baled fleeces that hadn’t been classed, was inappropriate for customers in Europe and Japan.

“We would like them to stick strictly to the code of practice,” Mr Kelly said.”We do like them to be skirted; my best orders require skirting. I can pay more money if they do the right thing. The idea that some of the Chinese orders can take un-skirted wool, I have some premiums from Japan for example, on skirted crossbreds. Because they’re so rare and hard to find in a lot of cases, I’ve got a 50 to 80-cent premium to buy those sorts of wools.”

Australia’s reputation for producing quality apparel wool is underpinned by industry standards. The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) is the public company that facilitates wool trading and is responsible for the quality standards, and it is increasing communication through the supply chain.

AWEX CEO, Mark Grave, said wool classers, as the last people to see the wool before it leaves the shed, are integral to quality. He said while the industry debates the merits of changes to the wool selling system, the need for quality and transparency in wool trading remains.”It’s actually what makes the industry,” Mr Grave said. “It’s what gives us the reputation, it’s while Australian wool is number one around the world. I think the fact that we still have passionate people involved on the buying, the broking the selling side of it, and particularly on the exporting and processing side of it, is really what makes this work. We can never be complacent about that.”

Source: ABC Rural

 

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