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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2012-13
It has been an honour to work for woolgrowers throughout the 2012-13 financial year as the CEO of the wool marketing, research and development body. There are very few organisations with a brief wider than AWI -- from working to get wool into the collections of the world's finest fashion houses as well as helping woolgrowers protect their flocks from wild dog attacks, flies and worms. WoolPoll 2012 was a significant event during this period and with good reason, as it was shareholders' opportunity to cast their vote on AWI's performance and direction. The result was that shareholders voted to continue paying a two per cent levy to AWI, with 40 per cent to be spent on research and development and 60 per cent on marketing, effective from 1 July 2013. The outcome of the poll also forms the basis of AWI's new Strategic Plan, which outlines the key investment priorities and activities for the next three years. The plan is based on woolgrower and government priorities for expenditure, which AWI sought through a robust consultation process during development of the plan. Building demand for wool is the purpose of AWI's marketing activities which are significant and extend across our key markets. Through various campaigns we are assisted by the world's most recognisable textile logo: The Woolmark. The familiar interwoven logo is owned by Australian woolgrowers and can be seen at the heart of our consumer campaigns to lift the awareness of the fibre. In key markets across Asia, Europe and America we continue to see more wool in store. This is no co- incidence as AWI has been working hard to influence and re-connect retailers, brands and designers with the many great qualities of Australian wool. Through key advocates, the messages of wool as a natural, fashionable and versatile fibre have been echoed across hundreds of retail stores across the world. A very significant development this year has been the re-emergence of the International Woolmark Prize. With regional winners in all key markets, this award has attracted very significant attention across the globe and has placed Australian wool front of mind for a new generation of influential designers, publishers and in turn millions of consumers. The Campaign for Wool is now in its third year and has attracted over 600 retailers across over a dozen countries. "Live naturally: choose wool" has been the theme communicated in many languages across the world and we have one person to thank: HRH The Prince of Wales, the patron and instigator of this wonderful and ongoing campaign. There is no doubting the importance of China in the global economy. As we know, more than 75 per cent of Australian wool is now exported to this economic powerhouse, lesser known is the fact that half of that amount remains in China and is eventually sold at retail making it our most single most significant market. Through the Woolmark Gold campaign AWI and its brand partners are continuing to place Merino wool in this market as an aspirational product of the growing middle class in China. Alongside these significant campaigns, AWI is placing wool in product categories where it has rarely been before. The urban and mothers and babies markets are new areas for our fibre and continue to offer opportunities, while the sports and active outdoor market is now a significant area for Merino wool. Pursuing new wool processing opportunities in areas such as Vietnam and Eastern Europe continue to show promise as we aim to reduce our reliance on China as an early stage processor of wool. Our Vietnam personnel report of manufacturers placing orders for wool while I am pleased to report progress towards the resumption of direct wool trading with Russia after a 25 year absence from the auction room. One of the great tools we have for promoting the versatility of wool in The Wool Lab, a trend guide of woollen and worsted fabrics. We have now released versions of the Wool Lab across both summer and winter apparel seasons, and interior textiles also has a version of the Wool Lab to display and discuss with textile buyers at the world's most important trade fairs. AWI has a rigorous cycle of consultation with woolgrowers and through this process we hear plenty of feedback about our on-farm investments. We have continually heard how wild dogs, flystrike, lice, genetics, extension and shearer training are the key areas of concern for the industry. This consultation has dictated the on-farm investment, and new flystrike trials using liquid nitrogen and laser technology are a significant development in this area. Over one million dollars has been committed to helping wild dog groups protect their flocks and hundreds of shearers and shedhands were trained in the past year. AWI networks across every state continue to be well attended by woolgrowers as it the highly successful Lifetime Ewe Management program which has now influenced well over 15 per cent of the national sheep flock. The 2013/14-2015/16 Strategic Plan has now been finalised and printed for all to see. This document has been produced with much care and diligence. It is a very accurate reflection of what AWI aims to achieve over the next three years and I recommend any woolgrower to see where their levies are to be invested to assist the profitability of woolgrowing. I am very optimistic for the future of the wool industry and very proud to be part of it. Stuart McCullough CEO, Australian Wool Innovation 15 August 2013 UP FRONT
AWI Annual Report 2013-14
AWI Annual Report 2011-12