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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 WoolProducers Vice President, Steve Harrison.
 
Steve, who runs an established Merino Stud and a commercial wool growing business with his family discusses the ongoing shearer shortage in Australia; including his personal experiences with this and how it is impacting the wider wool industry. Read more from Steve here.

Read Steve's Blog

 
 



WoolProducers election priorities 2022

WoolProducers undertook a broad consultation with State Farming Organisations and their representatives to identify key election priorities in 2022. More detail is outlined in the President’s Report – A Word From Ed below.


NFF - Time to Thrive election manifesto
WoolProducers supports the National Farmers’ Federation 2022 Federal Election Priorities which has identified 5 priority areas that need to be addressed to ensure stronger regions for all Australians. A strong focus on these key priorities will help to ensure that Australia’s regions and the people living within them continue to thrive for many years to come.
 
A dedicated website has been set up allowing you to register to receive a Policy voting pack, about the key issues and where different candidates stand in relation to them.


Australian shorn wool production continues a steady increase
The latest Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee’s forecast of shorn wool production for 2021/22 is 314 Mkg greasy, up 6.5% on 2020/21. Most key wool producing regions continue to enjoy favourable seasonal conditions which has boosted per head production.

The Committee’s first forecast of shorn wool production for the 2022/23 season is 321 Mkg greasy, a 2.5% increase on the current season. The main driver is an increase in sheep shorn numbers to 70.9 million, up 2.8%.  More here.


Gross revenue for Australian wool exports passes $2 billion
Gross returns of $10.47 million at the Western Wool Centre (WWC), $18.92m in Sydney and $29.55m in Melbourne last week, pushed total revenue from live wool auctions so far this season past $2 billion according, nine weeks earlier than last season. See more here.


China's COVID lockdowns add to shipping backlog - Australian wool exports hit
The global shipping backlog is threatening to blowout into a multi-year saga as renewed lockdowns in China slow trading to a crawl at some of the largest ports in the world, read more on the impact to wool here and here.


Foot & mouth outbreak in South Africa
An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in South Africa, caused China to ban imports of wool from South Africa. Read more on the impact to Australian wool here. WoolProducers continually raise awareness about the ramifications a FMD outbreak would have on the multi-billion dollar Australian wool sector, and the wider Australia economy if there was an FMD incursion in Australia.


ANZ Agri INFOCUS April 2022 issue
Australian wool prices driven up by FMD in South Africa, supply chain disruptions in China, wool prices continue to remain susceptible to changes in AUD/USD strength, and growing conditions forecast to stay optimal. Read more here.


AWEX Board Chair to retire
Ms Robyn Clubb AM, AWEX Chair, will be retiring as Chair and from the AWEX Board at the close of the 2022 Annual General Meeting on the 25th November 2022. The recruitment of a new chair has begun. Further details can be found here and the selection criteria here.


WOOLPACK winners in Banksia Awards
Planet Protector Packaging, manufacturers of WOOLPACK a polystyrene alternative used for temperature-sensitive foods, seafood, wine and pharmaceuticals in this year’s Banksia National Sustainability Awards. WOOLPACK received both the Agriculture and Regional Development Award, and the Overall Gold Banksia Award for sustainability. You can find out more on WOOLPACK here, and the Banksia Awards here.
 

 


AWI Webinar - Ask the Chairman and Board of Directors
On 3 May, AWI will be hosting a webinar Directors to discuss the latest developments in research, development and marketing of the best natural fibre in the world – Australian wool. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions of Chairman Jock Laurie and the AWI Board of Directors. Questions can be sent in on the day or ahead of time to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Register for the webinar here

2022 Woolgrower Sentiment Survey now open
An important way to get feedback on your interaction and engagement with AWI, please take the time to complete the survey.

Access the survey here

AWI – The Yarn Podcast: Episodes 213 and 214
213 - Rethinking investment on farm

John Francis from Agrista consulting discusses internal investment for production efficiency in the face of interest rate rises. Listen here.

Listen here

214 - Wool supply and demand: the latest news from both ends
New Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee Chairman Stephen Hill explains the latest figures but gives valuable insight into the strong underlying demand for Australian wool. Listen here.

Listen here

Applicants wanted for 2022 wool broker award
Australia’s top young wool brokers are being invited to nominate for the National Wool Selling Brokers of Australia’s 2022 award. Full details and application forms are available from the NCWSBA website.  Applications close on 24th June 2022.

Applications here

Testers wanted for hand-held micron testing device
Woven Optics, an agritech company building new hand-held technology that will provide wool growers with a reliable tool to measure wool micron on-farm in real-time are looking for wool producers to express interest in using the device when it becomes available. If this is something that interests you, fill our their market research survey below.

Access the survey here

2023 Nuffield Scholarships open for application
Are you a wool grower 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. Applications close 17 June.

Find out more here

 

As we all make our way through the federal election campaign, it is a good opportunity to promote the work that WoolProducers does on behalf of industry, largely behind the scenes.

As the only national policy and advocacy body for all Australian woolgrowers, WoolProducers is an apolitical organisation and works with the federal government of the day, as well as the opposition and cross benchers to try and deliver favourable outcomes for all woolgrowers.
 
For example, in the lead up to the federal election being called for 21 May, WoolProducers worked with members to develop our federal election priorities on behalf of the wool industry.
 
WoolProducers election platform is based on the NFF’s ‘2030 Roadmap – Australian Agriculture’s Plan of a $100 Billion Industry’ which has five pillars:

  • Customers and the Value Chain
  • Growing Sustainably
  • Unlocking Innovation
  • People and Communities
  • Capital and Risk Management

Under these pillars we have outlined a number of policy priorities from the Australian government post-election day. These priorities will assist and enhance woolgrowers’ businesses through providing certainty around biosecurity, trade, labour, infrastructure and capital.
 
As such we have been watching the election campaigning with great interest and it was disappointing to note that during the first leaders debate between Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese, that ‘agriculture’ was not mentioned once. For a sector that kept Australia going throughout the recent pandemic, we all deserve better than that.
 
Regardless of who wins the ballot on 21 May, WoolProducers will work with the government to ensure that the interests of Australian woolgrowers are considered in decisions effecting our livelihoods.

 
 



National Farmers Federation Conference

WoolProducers attended the National Farmers Federation annual conference on 5-6 April, which included the launch of the NFF #Timetothrive 2022 election platform. The theme of the 2022 conference was Sustaining the Nations, with politicians, service providers and industry thought leaders presenting on a range of matters relating to the themes of Environment, Economy and Communities.

National Agriculture Traceability Summit
WoolProducers’ staff and directors took part in the National Agriculture Traceability Summit, which took place virtually over 4 sessions from 7-12 April. Over 250 participants from government and industry participated in the summit, which explored challenges and opportunities relation to traceability across the agriculture sector. Outcomes from the summit will be used by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to develop a Draft National Agricultural Strategy and Roadmap
 

Sheep Health Forum
Earlier this year WoolProducers proposed the creation of a group of key parties to regularly come together to collectively discuss ongoing and emerging issues relating to sheep health, welfare and biosecurity.

WoolProducers participated in the inaugural meeting of the Sheep Health Forum, which includes Animal Health Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, Meat and Livestock Australia, Sheep Producers Australia and WoolProducers. 

The group will meet quarterly and aim to enhance outcomes relating to sheep health, welfare and biosecurity through the exchanges that take place.

Trade

India

WoolProducers Australia welcomed the signing of the Interim India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperative Agreement and has subsequently attended a number of government briefings providing an outline of the content of the agreement and the process for ratification.

Indonesia
WoolProducers has been liaising with a consultancy team involved in the Katalis Program. The program was established under the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement Economic Cooperation Program (IA-CEPA ECP) and aims to unlock the vast potential of economic partnership between Australia and Indonesia, offering opportunities to increase the use of Australian wool in Indonesia’s growing processing and manufacturing sector.


Domestic and Diversified Early-stage Processing
Work is well underway on the Federal government funded project to explore opportunities for domestic and diversified wool processing. The Industry Steering Committee met with the Deloitte Access Economics team to refine the project plan and contribute relevant industry input relating to key industry contacts and resources. Detail on the elements of the feasibility study can be found here.

Wool Industries Australia General Meeting
WoolProducers participated in the WIA General Meeting on 8 April. Issues addressed in this meeting included IWTO matters, including discussions regarding the proposed Congress which was due to be held in China but has subsequently been postponed due to continued Covid domestic lockdowns.

Wool Industry Pacific Australia Labour Scheme (PALM)
WoolProducers participated in a roundtable considering the application of the PALM scheme for the wool harvesting sector. While recent changes to the scheme has made it somewhat more relevant to the wool industry, there are still a number of operational issues to be addressed before there would be widespread uptake.

Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD)
WoolProducers have been involved in a number of government and industry LSD briefings over the past month. While LSD doesn’t affect sheep, the broader discussions around the precedence of importation of live virus  into Australia for vaccine development and research is very relevant to the wool industry.

Agriculture Leaders Debate
WoolProducers attended the National Rural Press Club Agriculture Leaders debate on 19th April. Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, The Honourable David Littleproud and Labor’s Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Honourable. Julie Collins went head-to-head to debate all things agriculture. The debate focused on labour availability, carbon, biosecurity, biodiversity and opportunities for young people to enter agriculture. The debate was recorded and is available to view on ABC iView

Australian Wool Innovation
WoolProducers staff and President have had a number of meetings with domestic and international AWI staff over the past month, to discuss a number of industry issues, including trade,  EU Product Environmental Footprint (PEF)Trust in Australian Wool campaign, EU Animal Welfare Regulation Revisions and quality assurance schemes.
 

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