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AWI AGM: getting on with the business of selling wool
27
Nov '09
Australian Wool Innovation shareholders re-elected three board members – Wal Merriman, Roger Fletcher and Chick Olsson – and voted to change the process of annual director elections.All three directors had retired by rotation in accordance with the Company's Constitution.

The vote in favour of changing the Constitution means board elections will now take place every two years.

In his address to shareholders, AWI Chairman Wal Merriman outlined the significant changes the organisation had made in the last 12 months.

'There has been a major overhaul of the AWI business and we are now a leaner company, run in a cost-conscious and business-like manner.

'We have closely examined and changed many processes within the company to become a more efficient, accountable and performance-based organisation with reduced overhead costs,' he said.

Mr Merriman also reiterated his appreciation to levy payers for their support in WoolPoll 2009.

'The vote for 2 per cent says to me that growers have confidence in the wool's future and in the ability of a reengineered AWI to make a difference and generate shareholder returns.'

He also thanked the board, CEO Brenda McGahan and the staff at AWI for their tireless efforts and loyalty to the company.

'It has been a difficult year with redundancies and downsizing, and it is a tribute to Brenda McGahan and her team for the way they have performed over the last 12 months.'

Ms McGahan told shareholders that $25 million is the budgeted cut in costs in the last 12 months to fund the company's new marketing and sales programs.

'Our marketing is focused on wool products that are available in retail stores; products that consumers can actually go into a store and buy.

'We also insist that the grower funds we invest in a marketing campaign are, at the very least, matched by our marketing partners' own financial contribution.

'Our job is to get the world talking about wool again, and to create a preference for quality wool products – certified by the world famous Woolmark brand – products for which consumers are willing to pay a premium.

'You have my commitment and my team's to help reignite global demand for this wonderful fibre and rebuild confidence in the long term viability of Australia's wool industry,' Ms McGahan said.

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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