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AWI strategic plan paints long term vision for wool
Oct '08
Australian Wool Innovation released its strategic plan for the next three years, vowing to increase demand for Australian Merino, cut the cost of production and find alternatives to mulesing within two years.

In the document described by CEO Craig Welsh as ambitious yet achievable, AWI sets a goal of creating an additional 20 million kilograms per annum (clean) of worldwide demand for Australian Merino wool.

"There's nothing to be gained by setting goals which are easily attainable," Mr Welsh said.

"We are in the business of maximising the return for the Australian woolgrower and the most effective way of doing this is to significantly grow demand.

"Our new business model requires our regional offices to liaise directly with the top 200 international retailers and clothing brands and we are already seeing this strategy paying off.

"I believe that while 20 million kilograms is an ambitious goal, especially in the present economic climate, I think our business model makes it achievable."

Mr Welsh said the other side of the equation was a target outlined in the strategic plan to reduce the cost of wool production by 40 cents per kilogram (clean) over three years through increased productivity and lower costs.

"By not only growing demand, but also trimming costs for farmers I feel that AWI will be meeting our vision for our shareholders," Mr Welsh said.

The strategic plan also lays out a target of providing woolgrowers with alternatives to mulesing in line with the industry's commitment to phase out the practice by the end of 2010.

"This is a critical target for AWI," Mr Welsh said.

"I am determined that we will meet it and have been encouraged by recent developments not only with clips but also the intradermals FSP 1 and FSP 2.

"A fresh round of trials for these technologies has just been approved by the South Australian Government's Animal Ethics Committee and I am hopeful that the results will be as successful as our preliminary trials."

Mr Welsh said a copy of the strategic plan would be sent to more than 30,000 woolgrowers who are the shareholders of AWI.

Australian Wool Innovation

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