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Wool Partners rejects wool testing levy system
May '10
Wool Partners has declined to participate in the wool testing levy established by the IWTO, preserving its own focus on targeted marketing.

The IWTO levy, launched last month at 0.25c per kilo of greasy wool, is understood to cover the cost of a recent visit to New Zealand by architects from Europe.

The CEO of Wool Partners, Iain Abercrombie, said the company had been approached to support the fee and given it due consideration.“We make all spending decisions with the knowledge that ultimately the money comes from wool growers. Their funds are limited and must be spent in the most effective way possible for their benefit,” he said.

“While we welcome any effort to lift the profile of wool in general, that's not the job that Wool Partners was set up to do.

“Our role is to help growers to receive the true value of their wool by targeted marketing to manufacturers, retailers and consumers in international markets. That involves building on the very strong marketing platform already in place through Wools of New Zealand, and developing new relationships around Wools of New Zealand and the Laneve sustainability brand.

“That campaign is doing extremely well, and in the foreseeable future it will continue to absorb the major part of our annual budget.”

Mr Abercrombie said the decision was consistent with growers' reluctance to support generic marketing, made clear by their rejection of the levy system last year. He noted that other industry participants and commentators had endorsed the targeted marketing strategy in preference to generic promotion.

Wool Partners' international marketing business Wools of New Zealand has more than 100 brand partners and 1500 partner retailers across the major markets. Laneve is building a strong position in the United States and Europe, with over 30 organisations, including many of the major carpet manufacturers in the world, currently signed to use the brand on accredited New Zealand wool.

Wool Partners International Limited

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