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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2014-15
The 2014/15 year has been one of considerable progress at Australian Wool Innovation against a backdrop of global market uncertainty. Despite this, we have seen a significant lift in the Eastern Market Indicator over this period. In key markets there is ongoing economic uncertainty but the underlying demand for wool has improved with more consumers in touch with the benefits of the great natural fibre we produce. Much of Europe and now the new economic superpower of China has slowed its activity, while North America and Japan continue to re-emerge from periods of prolonged economic slumber. Given this, the AWI Board has been conservative in its fiscal approach and now plans over the next strategic period to have net reserves at some $16.6 million. This is an appropriate level of reserve as a contingency fund. We continue to run AWI like we run our own businesses: as a cost-conscious and performance-based company. Retailers and brands, processors and manufacturers have all been reporting how our marketing is now making a significant difference. This turnaround began when we re-launched our marketing campaigns just five years ago. The growth in companies wishing to partner with us in this marketing is expanding. We are extremely fortunate to have HRH The Prince of Wales spearhead the global Campaign for Wool, which has done much to educate consumers about the sustainable versatility of wool around the world. In London, New York, Shanghai, New Delhi, Tokyo and Melbourne you will now find Australian wool in store windows and alongside these garments is often the story of Australian woolgrowers. While many of these woolgrowers have seen the benefits of a well-deserved lift in prices, superfine woolgrowers have not been fully rewarded for their considerable efforts and loyalty to the fibre. Much of this is due to the dramatic increase in the production of superfine wool. Since 1992 there has been a 1900% increase in wool of 16.5 micron and finer, a 600% increase since 2001. Despite this dramatic increase, in 2014/15 a total of 85 million kilograms of 18.5 micron and finer wools were sold, the highest value in seven years. New products across the sports and active/outdoor range now use superfine wool while marketing campaigns such as the International Woolmark Prize, Woolmark Gold in China and the Cool Wool campaign champion the use of finer wool by the world's most influential designers across both womens and menswear. Finding new markets and new processing centres is crucial to the future of wool and work in countries such as Vietnam, Russia, Belorussia and the Ukraine has been some of AWI's most significant work in recent times. While these are yet to appear on the top list of woolbuyers, they are using Australian wool and their interest is growing as politics and economics permit. The AWI Board is keen to invest in the next generation of woolgrowers as well as wool processors and designers. Initiatives such as the National Merino Challenge, Hay Inc, Wool4School, Breeding Leadership and Learn About Wool continue to build interest from young people here in Australia; the Wool Development Centre and Wool Education Centre in China are doing likewise with tomorrow's processors and designers. During our various consultation events with shareholders, woolgrowers continue to tell us where they want us to invest in: combatting wild dogs, lifetime ewe management, flystrike protection, shearer and woolhandler training, genetics and woolgrower networks. These significant investments are now measured for the benefit they have delivered for woolgrowers and these independent reports into our major research, development and marketing work are available at wool.com. Finally I wish to thank Brian van Rooyen for his significant input to the Board of AWI since 2002. He has brought significant experience, insight and business acumen to the Board over many years and we wish him well in his future endeavours. Wal Merriman Chairman, Australian Wool Innovation 20 August 2015 UP FRONT
AWI Annual Report 2013-14
AWI Annual Report 2015-16