Tuesday, 21 May 2024
    Australia steps up to fill in for New Zealand Merino wool shortfall

    Australia steps up to fill in for New Zealand Merino wool shortfall

    Merino wool is renowned as the finest wool for luxury apparel and technical sportswear. Brands such as Icebreaker, All Birds, Fjallraven, Rodd & Gunn, and Salomon (to name a few) all rely on wool from the marketing and innovation firm New Zealand Merino Company. 

    However, due to the sheep industry's need for space, it’s facing a land battle with competing industries like dairy and beef farming, resulting in a decline in sheep flock numbers since the 1980s. 

    In a bid to bolster wool supplies, New Zealand Merino Company's Australian regional manager, Steve Wainewright, mentioned that for the past five years, the company has been sourcing additional wool for its customers from Australia

    New Zealand Merino Company now has about 130 Australian woolgrowers on the books, providing the business with 15 percent of its needs. 

    Tasmanian woolgrowers Chris and Claire Headlam started supplying New Zealand Merino three years ago. "It's cool to see that finally, we've got some connection with a consumer through that channel, with New Zealand Merino and AWN," said the Headlams. 

    To qualify for a three-year contract with New Zealand Merino, the Headlams ceased mulesing, a one-off procedure to remove folds of skin around a lamb's rear and tail. They also have to meet globally recognised standards that cover fleece quality, animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility. 

    At Procurement Australia, we champion sustainable options for suppliers in our member network. We consider it our responsibility to contribute to a more sustainable world. Procurement Australia can collaborate with you and your team to integrate sustainability into your procurement through our supplier network. 

    Source: https://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/australianoutlook/modern-slavery-why-its-every-australians-business/