PWC calls for more focus on producing quality wool

September 01, 2009 - New Zealand

The PrimaryWool Cooperative(PWC) is asking farmers to "keep the faith" in response to yesterday’s announcement of the' no' vote for the wool levy.

"Growers need to continue to produce quality wool as the world is increasingly demanding that the products that are in their homes are made of natural and sustainable products. We are on the cusp of the revival of wool and to walk away now would be foolhardy,” says Cooperative Director Bay de Lautour.

PWC claims that the research undertaken in the United States as a part of the Elders PrimaryWool Just Shorn TM strategy (which is half owned by PWC) clearly shows that people are willing to pay more to know that their product is safe and where it came from.

"Wool is a wonderful product which makes the best carpet - one that is sustainable, natural and beautiful but is also flame retardant and has a range of other health benefits. The Just Shorn programme, that we are part of, is designed to educate consumers' of these traits so that they won't even consider putting synthetic in their homes."

"This vote clearly indicates that farmers do not support past programmes including the concept of their marketing money going to one commercial entity," said de Lautour, "We agree with them. We urged farmers to vote against the proposal to ensure that levy money is spent in a targeted and fair way to ensure that all that contribute to it receive the benefits."PWC is concerned that their campaign against the levy may see the end of other non-marketing related programmes, and looks forward to working with Meat & Wool to see whether Elders or PWC can continue to offer any of those programmes.

"We are pleased that this difficult time is now behind us and are looking firmly to the future," said de Lautour. "Clearly wool growers believe that it is time for a change in how things are done, to do this we need to clear the air, take stock and then undertake a well researched and market driven strategy, if New Zealand is to continue being renowned for its quality strong wool."

Primary Wool Cooperative Limited (PWC) was formed by a group of local farmers in 1974 to increase the returns for wool growers. Over the ensuing 35 years, membership has grown to over 800 and significant investment and involvement has been made in the NZ wool industry. The proven grower owned and controlled cooperative structure remains paramount. PWC has a 50% shareholding in Elders Primary Wool (EPW).