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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2009-10
This year was one in which Australian woolgrowers showed great faith in wool's future and in the ability of AWI to generate returns for levy payers -- at WoolPoll nearly three quarters of all votes cast were in favour of a levy of two per cent or more. AWI has continued to progress the plans so strongly supported by woolgrowers at WoolPoll. We have changed the way the company operates, with a greater emphasis on cost effective, results-driven marketing and R&D. During the year, AWI issued a marketing brief to a group of eight international marketing agencies for them to respond with strategy and creative. In July we appointed Euro RSCG who are now working with brand and retail partners to promote and educate consumers about the many benefits of wool, with the key focus being the 2010/11 autumn/winter northern hemisphere retail season. AWI has been working hard on major marketing campaigns that are now being rolled out across Europe and Asia. This is the first time in a decade that widespread and targeted marketing campaigns are taking place across key northern hemisphere markets. One of these initiatives is The Campaign for Wool, supported by patron His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, which is a five year campaign. It enjoys the support of over 100 retailers and brands including Austin Reed, Jaeger, John Lewis and Pringle of Scotland. It focuses primarily on the ecological benefits of using wool as a natural, biodegradable and renewable fibre. Running parallel to the Campaign for Wool is the Gold Woolmark Campaign in China which is the largest wool promotion ever undertaken in that region. This high end promotion is repositioning the Woolmark alongside a number of premium UK and Italian brand partners in the fast growing luxury market of domestic China. The Woolmark brand, as the world's best known textile brand, is central to all the marketing that we undertake. The value of the brand is well established the world over in the apparel and interior textiles sectors. Quality is the backbone of the Woolmark brand, and AWI has this year reviewed and strengthened this element of its business. The brand is backed up by technical specifications and stringent testing. AWI developed and launched important new collections of wool innovations this year to inspire high volume manufacturers and brands to work with Merino wool. The Merino Casual and Merino TouchTM collections position Merino wool to take advantage of two strengthening consumer trends: the casualisation of fashion and affordable luxury. A key strategy of AWI has been to work directly with key processing, manufacturing and retail apparel companies around the world to increase the demand for Australian wool and fast track their commercialisation. AWI has been working closely with the retail industry by aligning its product development and marketing to fit in with the retailers' own fashion calendar. Global trade events were an important part of this engagement strategy. These have been followed by retail seminars with key partners. Flystrike prevention remains AWI's highest on-farm research priority. With clips launched into the marketplace, investment has continued into genetic research, breeding for flystrike resistance, the development of an intradermal technology, as well as flystrike prevention education and extension activities. The first breeding values for breech wrinkle were launched in September 2009 by Sheep Genetics, and the SkintractionTM alternative continues to show encouraging results ahead of APVMA approval. This year, AWI has helped growers control the increasing problem of lice infestations with the new LiceSense extension program. AWI has also supported an integrated and co-ordinated national approach to develop and implement strategic landscape level control of wild dogs. Several initiatives have been undertaken by the Invasive Animals CRC and collaborators, with support from AWI. Our commitment to shearer and wool handler training continued, with 1,392 shearers and 976 wool handlers trained directly through the AWI program in 2009/10, and an additional 251 participants who attended a shearing, wool handler or crutching workshop. Since being appointed as CEO in March, AWI has finalised its Strategic Plan for the next three years. The plan sets out initiatives which are focused on increasing demand for wool -- and the price you are paid for it -- and improving productivity and profitability on-farm. For us to deliver this Strategic Plan, we have reviewed and refined our resource requirements, aligning them to the mandate we received from woolgrowers. The company's finances are very healthy. Last year's expenditure was not as high as we forecast. This was due to us devoting time to ensuring our marketing plans were thoroughly prepared and reviewed. Now that they are complete, we anticipate our marketing expenditure to increase accordingly in 2010/11, within the tolerances laid out in WoolPoll. The Board has approved a budget to break even in 2010/11; however should opportunities arise, management and the Board will pursue those opportunities utilising the cash surplus at hand. In all our endeavours we recognise that our best resources in meeting these expectations are our people. Well trained, motivated and responsive management and staff with autonomy and budget will be key in delivering the results woolgrowers expect. Stuart McCullough CEO, Australian Wool Innovation 6 October 2010 UP FRONT
AWI Annual Report 2008-09
AWI Annual Report 2010-11