Wool brands placed in grower trust

PGG Wrightson has transferred the assets of the international Wools of New Zealand (WNZ) and Laneve brands to the Wools of New Zealand Trust, a 100% grower-owned entity.

The formation of the trust followed the recent unbundling of Wool Partners International into PGG Wrightson Wool and served to put the international marketing of wool in the hands of New Zealand wool growers, the company said.

The transaction includes the sale of the Laneve brand, a wool fibre integrity programme for growers, to Wools of New Zealand brands.

Under the agreement, PGG Wrightson Wool will continue to be Laneve's preferred supplier and the company will continue to work to enhance the Laneve brand and contracts and drive the on-farm programme with growers.

Initial trustees of the trust are Banks Peninsula farmer Mark Shadbolt, Lean Meats chairman and Wairarapa farm consultant Philip Guscott and Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand (WRONZ) chairman and Livingstone farmer David Douglas.

WNZ, which undertakes the marketing of New Zealand wool through operations in Europe, Asia and North America, has more than 100 licensed brand partners throughout the world. It is largely funded by a voluntary fee charged to wool growers.

The transfer of WNZ to grower ownership was consistent with PGG Wrightson's strategy of focusing on wool brokering handling while respecting grower wishes to be involved in wool marketing and the downstream value chain, PGG Wrightson managing director George Gould said in a statement.

It was an exciting chance for growers to back a strong, single brand and benefit from wool marketing initiatives, he said.



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