Interview with Mr Michael Dwyer

Mr Michael Dwyer
Mr Michael Dwyer
Managing Director
New Zealand Wool Services International Limited (WSI)
New Zealand Wool Services International Limited (WSI)

What makes New Zealand wool world famous? What are its unique characteristics and how does WSI emboss them up?

New Zealand wool growers and exporters are concerned for - how be it, in a world becoming increasingly conscious of environmental issues, this a naturally grown, sustainable and environmentally friendly fibre like New Zealand carpet wool is struggling to survive!

It is prepared to a very high standard by farmers, has good colour, strength, low vegetable matter and physical characteristics which makes it suited to being a major component for carpets. The pride, commitment and integrity of the NZ woolgrower Is immense and is reflected in the continued attention to quality and preparation standards even in the face of these current hard economic times.

NZ Wool Services continues to capitalise on this good base of preparation. Through closer partnership with the wool growers, we are developing a branded purchasing and marketing approach under the Purelana brand to transform this wool into wider recognised consistent, traceability, high quality deliveries, and designed to meet our customers’ requirements all year round. WSl's advanced wool scours add considerable value to these natural characteristics through their technology, to create a superior scoured product, internationally recognised for it's consistency, quality, reliability and down stream processing ability. This recognition of being a top line deliverer has placed WSI at the leading edge of the New Zealand wool industry.

Rapid hike in cotton prices and cotton meagerness are loud these days. Has this affected wool market any ways?

Competing fibres: both natural and artificial, impact on the wool market. As prices for these fibres increase either due to scarcity or the high cost of manufacture, we often see a corresponding movement in wool prices. In recent history the differential between these other fibres and New Zealand carpet wools has been eroded. It now appears, due to the many factors impacting on producing textiles of every type, that values are likely to rise. In the past 6 months, we have seen in New Zealand a base value increase of 23 percent over and above the normal price effecting factors. This maybe the beginning of the recovery for the NZ coarse wool industry so badly needed.

Internationally, which all markets do you export to? Amongst them, which do you find most emerging markets for wool industry? Do you think the mature markets like China and India can be strong rivals to Australian wool market?

WSl's spread of markets includes over 30 different countries with a large range of clients within each. In recent times, the cost of production has seen a major shift of our client base into India and China in particular. These emerging processors are important manufacturing bases and are having an increasing influence on world textile markets. Each of these countries also grow significant amounts of both apparel and carpet wools, however, their farming, handling and preparation practices often mean that these wools struggle to compete with the wools from Australia and New Zealand in value.

Wool, from all origins, has its own place in the textile world and these wools often complement each other in finished products. As the overall demand for wool Increases, which we anticipate will happen, then all wool producing nations will benefit, especially as demand for natural fibres increases.

On Environmental Compliances front, what all measures are taken at WSI?

With the "greening" awareness of consumers, particularly in western cultures, and as the issue of global warming and humans impact on it become more high profile, environmental sustainability is becoming increasingly important. Wool is ideally positioned to capitalise on this awareness as a top quality, naturally grown, replenishable and low environmental impact product.

To ensure WSI meets it's environmental responsibilities, our scouring plants have the latest effluent control systems and extract the maximum amount of impurities possible during the scouring process. These are separated and recycled. The soil extracted is composed and used in high quality instant turf, the wool grease is converted to lanolin and the water is recycled through the scour plant several times prior to discharge. Our entire operation has ISO accreditation and we are targeting a policy of zero discharge in the future.

WSI's clients are the beneficiaries of our attention to these issues. This is reflected in the strong relationships that WSI has built up with our wide customer base as a result of delivering consistent, high quality products and our willingness to meet the industries requirements.

Published on: 04/08/2008

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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