Wool industry body backed

WoolWorks shareholder Maja Sliwinski says the wool scouring business wants to invest in new...
WoolWorks shareholder Maja Sliwinski says the wool scouring business wants to invest in new industry body Wool Impact Ltd. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A wool scouring company with a site in South Canterbury is shelling out $2.4 million over the next three years to support the new industry body charged with lifting the performance of strong wool.

Wool Impact Ltd is a collaboration between the Government and sector partners, after recommendations last year by the Strong Wool Action Group (Swag).

The industry body launched operations at the start of the month, with the support of $4.5 million from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibres Future fund, and industry groups covering $6.9 million.

That includes a healthy injection by WoolWorks, the nation’s only wool scourer, handling 76% of all New Zealand wool from Timaru and its Hawke’s Bay sites.

WoolWorks shareholder Maja Sliwinski said the company’s investment demonstrated its confidence and commitment in the sector and the future of wool.

"There is a lot of hard work ahead of us, but we like what we see in Wool Impact Ltd’s three-year work programme. We are confident that it will help steer the wool industry back on to a more sustainable and profitable path."

Swag executive officer Andy Caughey said WoolWorks’ investment would help support the vital activities of the new industry body to spur "transformational change" over the next three years.

The body would provide a united voice for the strong wool industry as well as services across data, training insights and standards.

"[It] will also support commercial participants to increase the demand for wool-rich products both in New Zealand and overseas and lift the volume and value of New Zealand strong wool."

WoolWorks employs 150 people and washes more than 100,000,000 greasy kilograms of wool, ranging from superfine merino to crossbred, each year.