Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
Large scale NSW commercial fine woolgrower Michael Field said Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) needs to get itself back in favour with the federal government and embark on a program of cultural change to make people feel more positive about the organisation. It seems that whoever is spoken to about the committee, they do not have a high opinion regarding it. Therefore, what is needed at the moment is the implementation of all of the recommendations of the Ernst and Young report in 2018 completed. Included in that the organisation must also restore relations with the federal government because the federal government is AWI’s single largest contributor. Relations do not appear to be good and therefore they need to be restored as soon as possible.
At the current moment, AWI is recommending the 2pc wool levy, putting up the same directors, however, nothing seems to be changing. It seems that AWI is ignoring the requests of the customers when it comes to growers and the use of best animal welfare practices. Nevertheless, if there are no customers, then there is no industry. AWI should be explaining to people how to understand ABVs and what a plain breach Merino actually is, where they can have a plain breach Merino but not lose any productivity from their current bloodline sources.
Australia is one of the world’s largest wool producers, producing around 25 per cent of greasy wool sold on the world market. The value of Australian wool exports in 2016-17 is estimated to be around $3.615 billion; this reflects the continuing strong global demand for Australia’s wool, which is regarded as among the world’s best.
Wool is produced in all Australian states except the Northern Territory. New South Wales produces the greatest volume of wool, followed by Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia. In 2016-17, it is estimated that over 74.3 million sheep were shorn in Australia.
Wool production is one of Australia’s largest and most important forms of land use, with some 30,000 wool-growing properties spread in a continuous crescent from the north of Queensland to the mid-north of Western Australia, Tasmania and the Islands of Bass Strait.