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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2009-10
I was delighted to see such a resounding endorsement at WoolPoll 2009 of the marketing and integrated off-farm and on- farm R&D direction that AWI is now following. I was also very pleased that more wool levy payers voted in this poll than in the previous poll in 2006. Australian woolgrowers spoke decisively and have allowed us to continue our new momentum to sell more wool, and reignite global demand for the world's best natural fibre. Thank you for backing our plans. This is still a challenging time for Australia's wool industry, but one full of hope. The drought that has plagued the industry is all but broken in the east, and we are seeing price movement for the first time in the right direction. Our work in assessing consumer sentiment shows that the world is searching for exactly what our sustainable industry has -- a natural and renewable fibre that is stylish and comfortable. The Australian wool industry is aware of its evolving market environment. As the industry's marketing and R&D body, AWI is particularly aware of the challenges facing the Australian wool industry. Over the past twelve months AWI has engaged in a comprehensive strategic planning process -- involving woolgrowers and other major stakeholders -- to develop a roadmap that will allow the Australian wool industry to best navigate these evolving market conditions. The key elements of AWI's new three-year Strategic Plan are the use of marketing, and integrated on-farm and off-farm R&D to: • increase demand for Australian Merino wool; • build a sustainable Australian wool industry; and • maximise woolgrower profitability and productivity. With hard work and a focus on the business, we believe the new Strategic Plan will help the wool industry to shift to a stable base, and in turn to continuously improve our product and its delivery to consumers around the world. This year, we have focused our attention on current and potential partners in the supply chain who, like AWI, believe the wool fibre story is of value to consumers. We have engaged with them in planning a range of global activities to grow demand and improve returns to woolgrowers. The Campaign for Wool and the Gold Woolmark Campaign in China are examples of our strategic planning processes beginning to bear fruit. Because AWI works in partnership with industry, it is in a strong position to ensure that our marketing initiatives best reflect industry demands. The relationship between marketing and R&D is essential to grow the demand for wool products, particularly in new markets and product lines. The Australian wool industry is at a pivotal moment in its history. Falling sheep numbers and wool production over the past decade have been worrisome, but it looks like this trend has bottomed out. Merinos have long been the foundation of the national flock, and they are now as important to the sheep industry as ever. Pure self-replacing Merino businesses are returning solid profits when run well -- something that woolgrowers are realising, with ram sales well up. It is vital to rebuild the national Merino flock. This can only be achieved by the positive decisions of individual woolgrowers. AWI is helping, by its endeavours to increase global demand for Australian Merino wool and thereby the price that Merino woolgrowers get for their hard work. AWI is also focusing its on-farm R&D efforts on helping build woolgrowers' resources and confidence to build and maintain a sustainable and profitable wool industry. AWI has implemented a number of initiatives which address a range of governance issues, including those identified in the Review of Performance. We are ensuring that governance of the organisation is based on best practice. Independent expert advice has been obtained, where required. The scope of this work has included developing and adopting new strategic planning processes, setting measureable objectives and KPIs, and reporting performance against those objectives. It also includes enhanced monitoring of compliance and risk, fraud prevention, and increased opportunities for stakeholder consultation. A formal conflicts policy has been introduced, as well as a grievance policy, and a procedure for annual Board performance assessment. The governance issues raised by the Productivity Commission have already been addressed in our new Statutory Funding Agreement with the Government. I particularly want to note that the current democratically elected AWI Board has extensive industry experience and strong grass roots connections. Its combined skills base includes marketing, research, governance, accounting and business skills. This skills- based board is recognised and endorsed by the company's shareholders. AWI has reviewed its performance and structure over the past 18 months, streamlined the business to reduce overheads, and reviewed every program and project to ensure we are aligned with woolgrowers' expectations. AWI has implemented a comprehensive stakeholder consultation process which feeds into its investment program. AWI's consultation program includes all stakeholders who are impacted by investment outcomes -- woolgrowers, retailers, government and R&D vendors. You have my commitment that AWI -- your company -- is working for a better future for woolgrowers. Wal Merriman Chairman, Australian Wool Innovation 6 October 2010 UP FRONT
AWI Annual Report 2008-09
AWI Annual Report 2010-11