Industry News

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A warm welcome to WPA's next monthly Newsletter. We’re glad you are here. Our aim is to keep you informed about matters related to the Australian Wool Industry each month. We will also bring you closer to one of our Directors or Staff in a feature blog each month.

On the blog this month, is an introduction to one of your WoolProducers Board Directors, Simon Riddle.
Simon, who represents the Victorian Farmers Federation on the WPA Executive discusses the use of electronic NLIS tags and provides his insights into their benefits to his wool enterprise and how that fits into the wider industry. Read more from Simon here.

Read Simon's Blog


ATMAC (domestic and diversified wool processing project)

Work is progressing on the WPA project to assess options for domestic and diversified early-stage processing of Australian wool.  The project is being funded under the Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation Program, which is administered by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Click here to find out more about the project.

WPA Submission to the National Biosecurity Strategy
WPA has called for a biosecurity system that is adequately resourced and equitably funded. WPA has also requested clarification of definitions within the Strategy and coordinated preparedness and response to biosecurity matters across the national system. You can read the full submission here: Submissions | WoolProducers Aust.

National Wool Declaration – AWEX members’ update
Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) has published the latest version of its National Wool Declaration (NWD V9.3) following extensive stakeholder consultations.  The review focused on the identification of wool from sheep treated with liquid nitrogen, and consideration was given to the Mob and Property Status of the NWD. The new NWD will come into force from July 25th, but industry stakeholders have been encouraged to align with the latest version as soon as possible to streamline any transition. Further information can be found here.

Market Report and Australian Wool Innovation’s Market Intelligence Update
The strengthening Australian dollar (AUD) have played havoc with prices at the Australian wool auctions recently.  The AUD was substantially dearer against all the major currencies and the subsequent foreign exchange (forex) rates available had immediate and negative impacts upon the local auction price levels. Further information can be found in the full update here.

John Roberts appointed as AWI CEO
Australian Wool Innovation has appointed John Roberts as Chief Executive Officer. The decision follows a selection process conducted by international executive recruitment firm Heidrick and Struggles. Mr Roberts had been acting in the role since October 2021 you can read more on this here.

Understanding crypto and blockchain
Ever wondered how the world of crypto currency and blockchain technology applies to tracking Australian Wool? Listen to Alexia Maddox, a researcher at RMIT's Blockchain Innovation Hub and Leanne Kemp the founder and chief executive of blockchain technology company Everledger as they explain here.

The Resurgence of the Australian Wool Industry
Wool is trendy again among fashionistas and celebrity athletes, and the Merino wool industry is making the most of its return to global dominance. Read the article here. And wool producers are finally reaping the benefits of workplace return, with a sudden jump in suit sales in the global market, watch the video here.


WoolProducers Raising the Baa program (AICD Company Director Courses and Youth Ambassador)
Due to interruptions from COVID19 in recent years moving many courses online, WoolProducers has been able to offer further nominations under the ‘Raising the Baa’ Leadership in Agriculture Program. See the Presidents report or below for further details.

More details

2023 Nuffield Scholarships open for application
Are you a wool grower under 35 and keen to broaden your network and learn more about opportunities in the sector? Australian Wool Innovation is supporting a Nuffield Ag Scholar from the wool industry to travel and learn in 2023. You can Find out more on how to apply below.

Apply here

Threads + Opportunities: Science engineering sustainable fibres, for closing the loop in Australia
In Australia there is now a growing shift towards more circular systems across several sectors and value chains. Science and technology are central to this change, with connected humans working together for positive solutions. This collaborative symposium’s goal is to help accelerate Australia’s science and innovation towards sustainable circular fibres. This is an online event running from Monday 23 - Thursday 26 May 2022 with 1.5hr plenary sessions each day.

Register here

AWI – The Yarn Podcast: The world’s biggest sheep experiment
The Merino Lifetime Productivity Project or MLP is a decade long project assessing the lifetime genetic merit of 5700 sheep. Listen below to how the first results are breaking some long held myths and uncovering new knowledge of the animal that helped build modern Australia.

Listen here

Have your say! Trade Reform Research Panel
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment are working on improving the experience of exporting agricultural goods from Australia. They want to hear from people across all commodities and job types and need to talk to people working in export-related roles. This is a long running, expression of interest for a research participant panel. Head here to find out more.

Find out more


WoolProducers recognises the need to develop a leadership strategy that will assist the industry to attract, educate and retain industry leaders across diverse areas of governance, finance, biosecurity, animal welfare and market access. So we are delighted to be able to again call for nominations for our Raising the Baa program.

Wool industry leaders are required to balance operating their private businesses with responsibilities to organisations such as WoolProducers. As such, attracting, further educating and retaining people within the industry becomes difficult due to demands on their time and the up-skilling required. 

The Raising the Baa Program has provided an innovative and supportive environment for wool industry leaders to develop and refine their leadership skills in order to contribute to the ongoing capacity and capability building within industry. Through the program, current and future leaders within the wool industry will gain tools to develop policy and strategy in a complex and challenging environment. To date, we have enabled 16 leaders to undertake the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) – Company Directors courses and five Youth Ambassadors.

The program will ensure that these leaders are equipped to communicate this information to, and on behalf of industry, government and other key stakeholders. This will result in a robust, innovative and sustainable Australian wool industry.

Interested parties are required to submit their Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a short statement (approx. 400 words) as to why they want to apply for either the AICD Company Directors Course or WoolProducers Australia Youth Ambassador. All appointments will be merit based.

Nominations for all positions close on Thursday, 7 April, 2022. For further information please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Sheep Health Project

The Sheep Health Project steering committee met via 2 virtual workshops to develop content for the 2022-25 Plan. The project includes the Sheep Health Monitoring Project, in which 10 participating abattoirs inspected almost 9 million sheep for up to 20 endemic health conditions in in 2020/21 

Wool Traceability:

  • Steering Committee Meeting – The wool traceability met to finalise a draft response to the recommendation of the report “Traceability in the Australian wool and sheep industry”. The industry response will be used to assist with wool industry participation in national traceability reform activities taking place following the $68 million funding announcement for agricultural traceability by Minister Littleproud earlier this year.
  • Animal Health Committee (AHC) briefing – WoolProducers staff provided a briefing on wool industry traceability to AHC on 22 March. AHC comprises of state and federal government Chief Veterinary Officers (and their staff). AHC were complimentary of the recent Traceability in the Australian wool and sheep industry and commended the collaborative industry approach being facilitated by WoolProducers.
  • DAWE traceability briefing – WoolProducers provided DAWE staff with an update on the “post report: activities taking place since release of the Traceability in the Australian wool and sheep industry report. It is hoped that the information provided will assist the department in the upcoming National Traceability Summit, taking place form 7-12 April 2022.

Foreign Affairs and Trade
WoolProducers have participated in a number of one-on-one meetings and forums with both the Department if Foreign Affairs (DFAT) and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) on trade related matters. These meetings included briefings on India, National Agriculture Market Intelligence Roundtable on Indonesia and a briefing from the Office of National Intelligence. These meetings included consultation on Free Trade Agreements and trade diversification and development opportunities in a rapidly changing trade environment.

WoolProducers also met with Ernst Young to discuss opportunities for wool in Indonesia.

AHA Engagement Week
WoolProducers participated in the recent Animal Health Australia Engagement Week. The week provided valuable opportunities to receive updates on and contribute input to Emergency Animal Disease response and preparedness activities through, research, development, extension, education, and policy development / reform.

National Coordination Mechanism Meeting - Severe Weather in New South Wales and Queensland
WoolProducers were invited by the Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Bridget McKenzie to provide representation for the wool industry at a meeting considering the impacts on agriculture of the devastating floods in Queensland and NSW. WoolProducers worked with our respective state members, AgForce Queensland and NSW Farmers Association to provide this advice.
Sheep Sustainability Framework (SSF)
Helen Carrigan and Jo Hall, as SSF Board representatives, travelled to Sydney to participate in a SSF Steering Committee meeting, which included a number of new faces of this group. The second report of the SSF will be launched later this year.

2022 Federal Budget
WoolProducers attended the annual CropLife Budget Breakfast at the National Press Club, with Minister David Littleproud talking through budget measures aimed specifically at the agricultural and regional Australia sectors.

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