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 a contribution from one of WoolProducers Youth Ambassador, Makaela Knapp.
Makaela, who comes from a mixed operation property in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, gives us a first-hand account of her time as a WoolProducers Youth Ambassador. As part of the program Makaela wrote an impressive policy proposal on implementing a quality assurance scheme similar to the Woolmark for non-apparel wool products.. You can read more from Makaela here

Read Makaela's Blog


WoolProducers Australia looking forward to working with the ALP

WoolProducers Australia welcomes the announcement of the Australian Labor Party’s (ALP) Cabinet and looks forward to working with the newly sworn in Government over the next three years.
The new ALP Cabinet features a number of representatives for rural Australia in key portfolios and WoolProducers congratulates Senator Murray Watt as the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Don Farrell as Minister for Trade, the Honourable Tanya Plibersek as Minister for Water and the Environment and the Honourable Madeline King as Minister for Resources and Northern Australia. Read more from WPA here.
View Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s full Ministry Cabinet announcement here.
View the Australian Government Shadow Ministry here.

Significant price gains achieved on most wool types
With just the two Eastern centres operating at this week’s Australian wool auctions, the reduced volumes available seemed to resonate positively with the buyers. With just three selling weeks left of this 2021/22 selling season, the trade purchases went through the 1.5million bale mark of wool sold this season at auction. This represents a raw wool value approaching A$2.5billion. 
At the close of the Australian Wool Market week 49, there were 31,097 bales offered, 28,118 bales sold with a passed in rate of 9.6%. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) rose 24 cents closing at 1,438 cents. This is the highest closing AUD EMI basis for four months and the second highest of the season. Read more here.

Foot & mouth detected in Indonesia
In early May The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment were advised of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia.
In response to the outbreak in Indonesia, the department has advised livestock industries to be alert, raised awareness at the border, particularly in the north, provided advice to state and territory governments, and liaised with Indonesian counterparts. Read more 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.

National Wild Dog Action Plan Newsletter
Catch up on the latest NWDAP Newsletter with articles including:

  • Non-lethal tools not the total solution in wild dog control
  • Mining company takes proactive approach to wild dog management
  • Collaborative work needed for effective vertebrate pest management

As well as all upcoming events this month. Read more here.

Solar farm trial shows improved fleece on merino sheep grazed under panels
Sheep grazing under solar panels at farms in NSW's Central West have produced better wool and more of it in the four years since the projects began, according to growers. There are calls for more research on the co-location of agriculture and renewable energy. Read more of this story here.

Meanwhile, Gas prices soar due to the war in Ukraine and problems with some coal plants
The new Energy Minister has warned Australia is on the precipice of a gas crisis, and Australian businesses are warning they will collapse if a long-term plan is not implemented to mitigate soaring gas and electricity costs. Read these stories here and here.

ABARES Ag Outlook – June Quarter
Value of agricultural production forecast to be $80.4 billion, the second highest on record. The value of wool production is also forecast to rise due to increasing production, by 5% to $3.3 billion. Successive seasons of above average rainfall in much of eastern Australia have enabled graziers to rebuild herds and flocks, which will allow for greater production of meat and a larger flock for wool production. Read the full Outlook here.


Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) Scholarships
WLA is currently offering professional development scholarships for WoolProducers Australia staff and members. Scholarships of $1000-$5000 per person are available for women in the Farming and Agriculture Sector.
To encourage more women to increase their impact at work and step into leadership roles across the farming and agriculture sector, WLA is offering scholarships for four leadership development courses. Apply by 9 September.

Find out more here

Got Sheep? Tell us more about your sheep to win!
Kynetec are inviting sheep producers and wool growers across the country to participate in a survey regarding on-farm practices in the sheep industry. This survey is being carried out for Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and will help MLA and AWI provide better information and services to assist you run your livestock business and inform the metrics of the sheep sustainability Framework.
Complete the 25 min survey by June 15 and be entered into the draw for the chance to win a Gift Card worth $1,000!

Access the survey here

AWI – The Yarn Podcast: Episodes 216 and 217
217 - Barber’s Pole: clear and present danger
Worm control in sheep has become a major issue and the spread and frequency of Barber’s pole worm in flocks is alarming. A parasite that rewrites the books for control and the world champion in terms of resistance according to those who know and we are about to hear from three of them.

Listen here

216 - Wool harvesting technology day: Falkiner Memorial Field Station
Hear about the suite of research and development for wool harvesting recently shown near Conargo in the Riverina of NSW.

Listen here

Women Behind Wool
Women Behind Wool is a series of videos and podcasts telling stories of women behind the scenes of the wool industry. Listen to these amazing stories.

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 available 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


The WoolProducers Executive and Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Committee recently met face-to-face at Michell Wool in Adelaide, which was the first time in two years that we have not had to meet in a virtual capacity.
It was therefore also the first time that we got to meet our two Youth Ambassadors, Erin Douglas and Makaela Knapp in person. However, this unfortunately was the last meeting with Erin and Makaela, as their time as Youth Ambassadors is coming to an end. We have enjoyed their time with our organisation and are confident that they both have bright futures in our industry. We wish them all the very best and look forward to monitoring their progress in the coming years.
Meeting at Michell’s also provided the opportunity to tour Australia’s largest wool processing facility, which was extremely informative and well received by the meeting participants. Obviously this was a very timely tour given that work is progressing on our Domestic and Diversified Wool Processing project.
The Executive Summaries of both of these meetings are also available. The idea of these summaries is to provide a snapshot of the vast range of issues that WoolProducers as an organisation address on behalf of Australian woolgrowers.
Obviously, biosecurity was a major focus of both of these meetings given the recent detection of Foot and Mouth Disease in Indonesia. The threat of an Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) entering Australia is something that WoolProducers, as the wool industry signatory to the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA), dedicates significant time and resources on.
In 2020, in partnership with Animal Health Australia, WoolProducers conducted a whole-of-domestic wool supply chain EAD exercise, titled Exercise Argonaut, to assist the industry understand roles and responsibilities in the event of an EAD incursion. The final report of Exercise Argonaut identified some gaps and made recommendations to enhance the wool industry’s preparatory and response activities, which WoolProducers continues to work on.
The role of EADRA signatory is one that WoolProducers takes very seriously, and while we hope that we never have to experience an EAD incursion firsthand, we as an organisation are doing everything that we can to be as prepared as possible and strongly urge all growers to adhere to strong biosecurity measures at a farm-gate level.



WoolProducers met with Su McClusky, the government Special Representative for Australian Agriculture on 3 May. WoolProducers received an update on completed and upcoming advocacy activities being undertaken by Ms McClusky, including in market activities in the UK, Europe and the USA. WoolProducers presented the Trust In Australian Wool campaign to Ms McClusky as a valuable resource to support her advocacy activities for Australian Agriculture.
WoolProducers has continued to engage on a number of trade related issues during May


WoolProducers participated in several government briefings following the earlier signing of the Interim India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperative Agreement. The briefings were seeking to identify opportunities to srtrengthen ties between the Australian and Indian economies in the lead up to, and following ratification of the agreement in both countries.

Indonesia 6 May
WoolProducers has been continuing to liaising with a consultancy team involved in the Katalis Program. WoolProducers introduced staff from the AWI market development team to the Katalis Program to discuss opportunities for more Australian wool to enter the Indonesian textile sector.



WoolProducers has continued to participate in government briefings on the FMD and LSD situation in Indonesia.

South Africa
WoolProducers have been actively liaising with wool industry colleagues in South Africa to gain an understanding of the impacts that the current FMD outbreak are having on their sheep and wool industry. Following these engagements WoolProducers are drafting a project proposal to better prepare out wool exporters when an Emergency Animal Disease, such as Foot and Mouth Disease arrives in Australia.


Footrot vaccine advocacy
WoolProducers have continued efforts to advocate for the re-establishment of grower access to the Custom R-Pilus footrot vaccine for the forthcoming control season. Several meetings have been held with the Tasmanian Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the APVMA and Dr Bruce Jackson in an effort to commence the process to obtain a minor use permit.

WoolProducers Quarterly Meetings
WoolProducers held their Health and Welfare Advisory Committee meeting and Board meeting at Michell Wool in Adelaide on 25 and 26 May. Executive Summaries of these meetings can be found here.

Sheep Sustainability Framework
WoolProducers representatives on the SSF Board have also had out-of-session meetings to finalise the three-year Strategic Plan and Annual Implementation Plans for the SSF, based on the following three themes: Stakeholder Engagement, Data Collection and Reporting and Continuous Improvement. The launch of the next SSF report will be held at Bendigo Sheep Show on 15 July.

AWI Consultation Meetings     
WoolProducers had representation at both AWI’s Wool Industry Consultative Panel (WICP) and Wool Consultative Group (WCG) Meetings in May.

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