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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2009-10
Since purchasing the assets of The Woolmark Company in October 2007, AWI has been revitalising the Woolmark brand to enhance its appeal to today's consumers. New look swing tickets and labels for the apparel market which give the Woolmark brand a fresh, contemporary look and feel that builds on the natural, timeless qualities of wool were launched in early 2010, with an initial roll out in the UK and further expansion globally over the rest of 2010. There is also a new range of retail merchandising materials, including new signage, care claim booklets and educational materials which promote the natural benefits of wool. Quality is the backbone of the Woolmark brand, and AWI has reviewed and strengthened this element of its business. Following on from our initial review and update of Woolmark product specifications in 2008, we notified our licensees of further improvements in December 2009 with an effective date of 1 January 2011. We have continued to introduce independent AWI authorised laboratories, which test products to ensure licensees comply with Woolmark product specifications. These laboratories regularly participate in inter lab trials to maintain high quality and consistent application of the Woolmark test methods. Woolmark collateral has an updated design, added security and a more efficient ordering process. Forming relationships and collaborating financially and intellectually with other organisations along the wool supply chain is an important and fundamental part of AWI strategy. Collaboration helps ensure AWI delivers the best return for Australian woolgrowers. 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. AWI has targeted leading and influential companies in key markets including the processing and manufacturing powerhouse of China, the influential trend setting centres of Europe, the global retail brand and sportswear hub of the US, emerging markets such as India, and the world knitwear centre of Hong Kong. AWI has been building partnerships with these companies, the decision-makers in world apparel, and encouraging them to take up new wool fabrics, yarns and products that will give their business an edge. Trade events were an important part of this engagement strategy, and AWI participated in a targeted selection of international trade fairs such as Pitti Filati (Italy), Première Vision (France), Intertextile (Shanghai), and SpinExpo (New York and Shanghai). These created valuable introductions to buyers and designers, increased awareness of the Woolmark brand, and helped drive new business for Woolmark licensees. AWI has also been working closely with the retail industry by aligning its product development and marketing to fit in exactly with the retailers' fashion calendar. We do our product marketing at precisely the time the retailers are considering what products to put in their seasonal collections. AWI has a window of opportunity' to convince brands and retailers to stock wool for a particular season -- it's important to get the timing right. There would be no point in us doing our marketing a month after the brands and retailers had already made their buying decisions. Our retail seminars have been specifically designed to create demand for the Woolmark brand among retailers. Here, buyers and designers have been educated about the innovation potential of wool, wool trends, Woolmark quality specifications, and the value of sourcing through a trusted Woolmark supply chain. AWI has also been marketing its product innovations to the large spinners, knitters and weavers, to persuade them to switch fibres to wool, because this is where retailers target their buying strategies. The knitters and weavers must be able to work with wool, to enable the retailers to buy wool products to put on their shelves. AWI also collaborated in 2009/10 with organisations and companies in product technology research. These organisations included the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Sheep Industry Innovation, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and AgResearch in New Zealand. This research underpins a range of technical developments in wool processing and textile design. REPORT OF OPERATIONS -- MARKETING & OFF-FARM R&D
AWI Annual Report 2008-09
AWI Annual Report 2010-11