New Laneve integrity brand to work with leading carpet producers

July 17, 2009 - New Zealand

Wool Partners has announced two key developments in the campaign to improve returns to New Zealand strong wool growers.

• A new fibre integrity brand – Laneve – to provide carpet customers in global markets with assurance on the origins of the wool used in their manufacture.

• The first two in a number of new supply agreements expected to be signed with international carpet manufacturers over the coming months.

Wool Partners CEO Iain Abercrombie said the company was currently in negotiation with several other manufacturers interested in similar agreements, which would be announced as they were completed in the coming months.

“This reflects a dedicated programme of market development through Wools of New Zealand, and detailed investigation of the opportunities for New Zealand strong wool in the world’s largest markets,” he said.

Laneve – Building Value on the Natural Integrity of Wool

The Laneve brand will be used by manufacturers committed to working with Wool Partners' subsidiary Wools of New Zealand to ensure compliance with specific standards on farming practice, animal welfare, sustainability, traceability and the environment.

Laneve will make its first appearance on carpet ranges launched by manufacturers in the United States at trade fairs in the coming northern winter.

Iain Abercrombie said Laneve would become a key element in the branding and marketing strategies of the manufacturers involved, supported by a range of promotional and technical services provided by Wools of New Zealand. “The combined programme will raise awareness of the unique attributes of New Zealand strong wool, and over time will help generate the price premium our wool growers deserve,” Mr Abercrombie said.

Wool Supply Agreements – Glen Eden Wool Carpet and Bellbridge Carpets

Glen Eden Wool Carpet and Bellbridge Carpets have committed to wool purchases for manufacture of carpets using the Laneve brand.

The new carpet ranges will be launched at the Surfaces Trade Fair in Las Vegas in February 2010.

Glen Eden’s president, Stewart Hay, said he was delighted to reach an agreement that would help build on demand for wool as a sustainable, high-quality raw material.

“We know from customer feedback that wool is highly regarded by affluent and quality-conscious carpet purchasers. We are confident that consumer preference for wool will grow substantially along with the world-wide trend towards sustainable and ethical products. Our ability to provide carpet products that meet those tests can only be enhanced by the new level of integrity and traceability provided under the Laneve brand.”

Glen Eden is a high-end carpet manufacturer and marketer based in Georgia with distribution across the US and in Europe. Glen Eden produces carpet for the residential, commercial, aviation, marine and other sectors – counting the White House, Buckingham Palace, Chase Manhattan Corporation, Disney, Ralph Lauren and the Los Angeles Bel-Air Hotel amongst its customers.

The wool purchased by Glen Eden will be sourced from a group of growers on Banks Peninsula offering a coordinated supply commitment. The group currently involves 20 farms and has the potential to involve the majority of growers on Banks Peninsula to supply contracted wool on a long-term basis.

A spokesman for the Southern Bays Farm Discussion Group, Chris Chamberlain, said the group had pooled its combined wool clip under a strict quality assurance programme three years ago. Its aim was to establish a link with a top end user, to supply high quality wool, and to create and market a niche fibre linked with a unique Banks Peninsula story.

"We are all growers with our lives invested in an industry that is not performing,” Mr Chamberlain said "We have been very proactive in trying to achieve a better result for growers, and supporting the programme led by Wool Partners and Wool Grower Holdings was a natural response to that need. We are excited that they have been able to respond so effectively to our approach by finding a partner with a long-term need for our wool, and one operating in markets that have clear potential for growth."

The wool supplied to Glen Eden will be scoured by Kaputone Wool Scour in Christchurch and spun by Christchurch Carpet Yarns prior to export.

Wool to be supplied under the agreement with Bellbridge, as with other agreements to be announced as they are completed, will be sourced from Wool Partners’ existing grower relationships and from expanded supply through new grower commitments.

The president of Bellbridge, Bruce Bell, said the agreement with Wool Partners was a significant step forward for the company. “This arrangement binds us to a supplier that, like us, is committed to the highest standards of product quality and integrity.

“The natural qualities of wool, combined with environmentally responsible manufacturing processes, are an important factor in the appeal we hold for our customers. The Laneve brand will capture these values in a way that we are confident our customers will recognise and support.”