Wool Summit united on progress

The Government and key players in the wool industry have taken a first step to revitalise the languishing sector, says Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor.

Some 40 wool producers, processors and other industry players met at yesterday’s Wool Summit, held by the Ministry for Primary Industries in Wellington, to address the lack of performance across the sector.

“The Wool Summit put the right people in the room who are clearly united on taking a fresh approach to secure a stronger future for wool.

“They stressed the need for the industry to tell the story of wool to consumers, at a time when the world is crying out for alternatives to plastic and synthetics.

“There was a good mix of enthusiasm and experience at the summit and everyone agreed we need to build trust and collaboration across all parties to turn wool into a success story for New Zealand, as it once was.

“Wool has huge potential as a sustainable and valuable product but has languished since deregulation in 1997 and the unsuccessful levy referendum in 2014 – leading to a lack of industry unity, structure, common vision and strategic focus,” Damien O’Connor said.

From the summit a small working group is being formed and will work with MPI to progress the next steps. MPI is also investigating how it can use its Economic Intelligence Unit to help the sector better connect with high-value customers.