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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2014-15
The 2014/15-year falls in the middle of the 2013/16 Strategic Plan and I am pleased to report to woolgrowers of the significant headway made along the path laid out in the plan. When I was first appointed in early 2010, one of my aims was to see a four-digit market indicator and it is heartening to have watched the benchmark Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) well above 1000 cents for the entire 2014/15 year. Improved demand along with supply factors have been behind this trend. However, with the ever-rising costs of growing wool this benchmark may not be enough to maintain and indeed attract more people to growing wool so I believe a 1200-cent indicator should be our new aim. The simple price of wool is one measure of how we affect the demand for wool but measurement of AWI's performance now extends across all research, development and marketing. Many of our largest projects are now assessed by an independent economist for the benefit they have delivered to woolgrowers relative to their cost. For example the Campaign for Wool, now in its fifth year, has been shown to deliver a $4.80 return for every dollar invested and with over 440 retail and brand partners worldwide it is not hard to see how. We have HRH The Prince of Wales to thank for getting many consumers around the world in touch with the many environmental messages about wool. It was fitting the flagship International Woolmark Prize was this year held in Beijing given the Chinese Year of the Sheep. This significant marketing initiative across both womenswear and menswear is placing wool into the hands of the best up and coming designers in all key markets. Last year's winner, Rahul Mishra enjoyed phenomenal retail success with his winning collection completely selling out in key retailers in the US, Asia, Australia and Europe in just weeks. Our marketing partners across the world are now reporting greater demand for wool but some at the same time are also concerned about future supply. Many woolgrowers would also like to increase their on farm production if seasons permit and our extensive work in wild dog control ($8.60 return on investment) has assisted over 100 wild dog groups across Australia to battle this insidious problem that occurs across very wide expanses of pastoral Australia. Lifetime ewe management has now reached 20% of the national flock and will continue to be extended to those wanting to increase weaning rates and reduce stock losses. This very popular on-farm course has been shown to deliver $44 for every dollar invested and for the 2000 woolgrowers who have completed the course, many have taken up the free App putting the technology onto your smartphone. Having professional shearers and shedhands to harvest the nation's clip continues to be an area of investment for AWI. With more than 2,000 shearers and 1,000 woolhandlers trained over the last 12 months we are confident of being able to provide the industry with professional shearing teams into the future. Over the last 12 months AWI has instigated a review of selling wool. A highly credentialed panel is extensively examining all aspects of wool exchange from the farm to the ship's rail. This is the first examination of this type since the revolutionary digital age in which we live. To have 95% of the national clip sold through one method is most unusual in the 21st century while every other major commodity significantly benefits from a range of selling mechanisms including online and digital trading. I am of the view that digital disruption has much to offer the woolgrower across a great range of activities and this arms-length Wool Selling System Review will deliver opportunities for many in the industry but most importantly it examines possible benefits for growers. Woolgrowers are who we work for specifically and I won't shy away from chasing down benefits for this group irrespective of where that might be discovered across the wool supply chain. We continue to pursue other digital areas of possible benefit with farm automation and farm software a significant area of opportunity. We live in exciting times for woolgrowers with good returns from wool and sheep production. It is a great honour to work for woolgrowers at this time and we continue to explore many avenues across research, development and marketing of this great natural fibre. Stuart McCullough CEO, Australian Wool Innovation 20 August 2015 UP FRONT
AWI Annual Report 2013-14
AWI Annual Report 2015-16