New Zealand given smart wool nod

02 Apr, 2010 03:00 AM

ANOTHER wool retailer has bypassed Australia for New Zealand.

In a decision likely to frustrate Australian Merino producers, United States giant wool sock supplier SmartWool, has signed a contract with the New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) to build up its orders and exclusively source Merino wool from it.

The company has indicated that this partnership would assist SmartWool meet its double-digit growth projected each year for the next three years.

“Around 20 per cent of the Merino and mid-micron clip between 18 and 26 micron will be in this one contract,” said NZM chief executive John Brakenridge in a statement last week.

SmartWool is expected to give more details about the volume and price projection for wool requirements this week.

Since 2001, the SmartWool contract has delivered more than NZ$100million in business to New Zealand wool growers.

The announcement came as the International Woo textile Organisation announced this week a new education project for wool in the interior textiles sector.

The project, to be executed in Christchurch, New Zealand, in April this year is expected to draw representatives from eleven of the world’s leading architects from Europe, Japan and United States.

The five-day event is aimed at promoting the benefits oaf using wool over synthetics in domestic and commercial buildings.

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3/04/2010 10:21:50 AM

Are you listening, AWI board? Another casualty of the AWI board fiddling while the industry burns?
3/04/2010 2:02:32 PM

Congratulations NZ wool growers. Your ability to intelligently and strategically promote your wool combined with your ability to present a united front to the global textile industry means that you deserve to win these lucrative contracts. Unfortunately, for obverse reasons, Australia deserves to lose them.
5/04/2010 7:05:27 AM

But Australian wool growers will not collectively market their wool. Every thing has be free market in this country.
5/04/2010 12:12:22 PM

Of course Realist, haven't you heard of divide and conquer. "Free Market" is the model of the BIG multinationals, to squeeze out efficient producers in favour of transborder, and uncontrolled oligopolies and monopolies.
Ted O'Brien
6/04/2010 11:00:03 PM

This contract increases the demand for Merino wool. That is good for all Merino producers. However this contract also shakes the trade in wool to its very foundations. This contract may mark the beginning of trading in wool exclusively on forward contracts to supply. The infrastructure for trading in wool in wool has been so far destroyed that those traders remaining must see their only security of continuing supply in such contracts. If this method of trading comes to dominate the trade in wool, which under current conditions is likely, then the trade in wool will be in danger of becoming a closed shop, where a few big buyers determine how much wool is traded and at what price. They will also dictate how it is produced. Growers who are outside the tent will not be admitted.


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Well Said Mathew, On our place before we could ever have a wireless internet system, we would
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Good points, Matthew. Maybe you should send this piece to our new Communications Minister Mitch
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Why has AWI refused to comment?