Curtis Wool Direct

IWTO 2018 wrapped up in Hong Kong

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The 2018 87th IWTO Congress was held in Hong Kong earlier this month. Wool for Future Markets was the theme under which the Congress more than 250 delegates from all wool producing and processing countries came together.

Specialty meetings and working groups on Product Wellness, Wool Trade Biosecurity, Sustainable Practices, Contracts and Specifications, and Licensing were a precursor to the opening Happy Hour sponsored by the Campaign for Wool.

The opening Market Intelligence Forum: Outlook and Trends in Wool Market Intelligence Committee was chaired by Chris Wilcox who offered insight into wool production trends and the drivers of demand along the wool pipeline, exploring highlights of the 2016/17 season.

Speakers also included Madam Peng Yanli, President, China Wool Textile Association, and Joachim Schulz, CEO, Vlnap – Wagenfelder Spinning Group who spoke on Wool in the automotive industry: opportunities and pitfalls.

Michael Jackson, Managing Director, AWTA chaired the forum on Contracts & Specifications. The Contracts & Specifications Committee reviews proposed changes to IWTO test methods for the measurement of wool fibre, yarn and fabric properties, IWTO regulations concerning sampling and certification procedures, and the IWTO arbitration agreement.

Other interesting presentations included an address from Cathrine Stange, CEO, Devold of Norway spoke about a holistic approach to quality and Joseph Chang, Senior Sales Director, Nameson Group Retail spoke on fashion trends.

A formal dinner was hosted by Red Sun, one of the largest topmaking companies in China.

A visit to the Woolmark Wool Resource Centre was a fitting end to the Congress. This centre is a multi-functional, interactive space dedicated to product and process innovation to be used by all AWI partners throughout the supply chain. Hong Kong was selected as the home of the Wool Resource Centre due to its importance in the sourcing of Australian Merino wool. All global brands travel to Hong Kong for sourcing trips, and the region is also a key manufacturing hub for spinners and knitters, making it a natural choice for the Wool Resource Centre.

The next IWTO congress will be held in Venice on 9 – 11 April 2019

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