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WPI offers growers premium contracts to supply UK carpet makers
Dec '10
Wool Partners International (WPI) is offering 70 cents a kilo premium above auction prices for high quality wool to fulfil contracts to two carpet manufacturing partners in Britain.

This is the first procurement premium offered by WPI and is expected to be followed by further offers based on contracts in place and under negotiation.

Based on recent auction prices, the 70 cents represents a premium of 15 per cent paid directly to growers.

The procurement premium will be offered this week to eligible growers who can meet the product specifications for Laneve. Eligible wool growers need to be accredited to the Wool Partners Integrity Program and currently paying the Wool Market Development Fee.

WPI Chief Executive Officer Iain Abercrombie says two years intensive work with international partners has created the ability to deliver higher returns to growers.

“We are delighted to offer growers the opportunity to participate in these initial lots to supply two British carpet manufacturers who will manufacture new ranges for the British retail buying groups BRM and SMG.” As part of the agreement with WPI, the manufacturers will also pay 70 cents a kilogram towards the marketing and promotion costs of the new ranges, taking the total royalty payment to $1.40 a kilogram.

“Contracts WPI has negotiated for Laneve and Wools of New Zealand brands for additional new carpet ranges to be launched in Britain, Europe and the United States will provide more opportunities to pay premiums to growers.”

“This is the mission WPI was tasked to achieve. Procurement for these contracts is a significant milestone for the organisation and the future of strong wool in New Zealand. Growers can have confidence that our international partners recognise the importance of the intrinsic qualities of New Zealand strong wools and their ability to meet consumers' desire for luxurious natural products produced in an ethical and sustainable way.”

In the next few months new carpet ranges incorporating LaneveTM and Wools of New Zealand brands will be launched by WPI's partners at industry trade shows in Europe and the United States.

Mr Abercrombie says the trade shows will provide a platform to build on the extensive work already undertaken by WPI.

“Over the past year, the company has focused on building relationships with manufacturing and retail groups, educating, creating an independently audited compliance programme for the ethics and sustainability of wool, enhancing the branding and marketing platform, launching in-market promotional programmes and assisting retail staff to communicate the quality and performance of wool products. All these initiatives are built on – and build further – the value of the LaneveTM and Wools of New Zealand brands.”

“Our manufacturing and retailer partners in the major carpet markets are excited by the programmes we have developed, the technical support offered through our Centre for Wool Excellence in England and the integrity built into our brands. New Zealand strong wool growers now have the opportunity to gain the rewards of these programmes in the form of higher returns for their wool.”

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