New England superfine woolgrowers, Geoff, Cameron and Simon Wood, have won this year’s $50,000 Vitale Barberis Canonico Wool Excellence Award.
Members of the family from “Dog Trap”, Uralla, were on hand to receive the award at a ceremony in Hobart last week.
Their 1618ha property is operated by two generations of the Wood family, Geoff and his two sons Simon and Cameron who are the fifth generation to run sheep at “Dog Trap”.
Dedication to breeding, consistent clip preparation and innovative and progressive management of their farm won them this year’s award which was presented by Alberto Barberis Canonico and Davide Fontaneto from Vitale Barberis Canonico (VBC).
Besides the cash the Woods also won an all-expenses paid trip to meet VBC representatives in the Biella region of northern Italy.
There they will have the chance to see the transformation of their raw product through to luxurious fabrics.
“For many, many years my family have been dedicated to wool, in particular saxon wool. It is wonderful to experience recognition for this great product and it is a great honour and a privilege to have won this prestigious award,” Cameron Wood said.
Davide Fontaneto, VBC’s raw procurement manager, described the winning clip as “very stylish saxon wool with a whiteness and resilience that made it a pleasure to behold”.
“We classed 30 per cent of the clip into our very best spinner lines and we were able to accept over 80pc of the entire clip into the Wool Excellence Club contract. A wonderful effort from obviously very passionate wool producers.”
To be eligible for the award growers must be members of the VBC Wool Excellence Club. Club members are selected by VBC using strict criteria and must demonstrate sustainable wool production and notably the attributes of superfine saxon Merino wool which is most highly regarded by VBC for its high-end fabric production.
All members of the VBC Wool Excellence Club need to be accredited under the SustainaWOOL integrity scheme which is managed by New England Wool.
VBC Wool Excellence Club members benefit from special “purchase contracts” at significant premiums.
“Dog Trap” has been in the Wood family for more than 100 years and runs 5500 ewes and 700 cattle.
Up until the mid-1980s a variety of bloodlines were used when Geoff decided “Dog Trap” would become predominantly a superfine saxon wool growing enterprise based on Hillcreston bloodlines.