Wools of New Zealand personnel showcase the company's
international position at the roadshow are (from left)
British-based market development and innovation manager
Steven Parsons, Britain's Camira Fabrics development
director Cheryl Kindness, chairman Mark Shadbolt and chief
executive Ross Townshend. Photo by Sally Brooker.
''Exciting opportunities'' have been outlined to Wools of
New Zealand shareholders at a roadshow criss-crossing the
Chairman Mark Shadbolt updated the company's progress since
it was capitalised in March, with more than 700 applications
for shares worth just over $6 million.
''The important thing is you now own Wools of New Zealand and
we've got a vehicle to go forward with,'' Mr Shadbolt told
the 14 people at the Oamaru roadshow meeting on October 1.
''It's important to go beyond the farm gate.''
The company's objective was to build and protect brand
values, with transparent feedback to woolgrowers from
customers, he said.
''It's a targeted strategy, not generic. We're working with
the market right out to the consumer. It's a five-year
evolving strategy to develop a fully grower-owned development
and marketing company.''
Wools of New Zealand was ''very protective'' of the capital
it had raised and would not use any until it had found an
investment with a return for the shareholder, he said.
It took five months to appoint new chief executive Ross
Townshend from 62 applicants. He has been establishing
relationships and collaborations in key markets around the
world, which was ''really critical in this industry'', Mr
''We've made good
progress in the 30 weeks since we capitalised. We've got the
governance and management structure. Your support and
patience are important.''
Mr Townshend said he has 40 years' experience in agribusiness
of most types and is himself a shareholder in the company.
It still does not have enough wool supply, Mr Townshend said.
''The 'wait and see' people need to come on board now.''
He also wanted to ''find a way of determining price'', rather
than taking whatever was offered.
Shareholders would be given exclusive access to
''cherry-picked'' markets for specific types and deliveries
of wool, and were advised to take up a ''direct-to-scour
sales opportunity'' with Wool Services International that
would remove the broker's fee.
A contract to supply English business Camira Fabrics with
lamb's wool was taken up by about 140 suppliers last year and
has since grown, Mr Townshend said.
''For 2014, we want a much greater supply. We are cautiously
optimistic we will be able to offer you a price over $6.''
Wools of New Zealand will hold its first annual general
meeting in Gore on November 20, where Mr Shadbolt and fellow
director Phil Guscott will retire by rotation and seek
re-election. The annual meetings will be alternated between
the North and South Islands.