Wool Working Group announced

The Wool Working Group has met for the first time to discuss how they’ll seize all possible opportunities to create a more sustainable and profitable sector, Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said. 

The working group, made up of 20 wool producers, processors and other industry representatives met last week in Christchurch to continue the momentum of July’s Wool Industry Summit.

“Around the world consumers want alternatives to environmentally unfriendly synthetic fibres and it’s up to us to work together to deliver them natural and functional wool products that are good for consumers and good for the world,” Damien O’Connor said. 

“The feedback I’ve received is that it was a very positive meeting. There was unity and a constructive belief in a positive pathway for the sector. 

“The group will collaborate with other players outside the industry to get independent ideas and expertise. 

“The Ministry for Primary Industries is also working on a digital platform that will allow the working group to continue their work in-between meetings. 

“I’m focused on helping the sector get more value for what it produces. If people see that our products are the most sustainably and ethically produced in the world then that will help us get more value for what we do,” Damien O’Connor said. 

The working group will develop a pan-sector action plan before the end of the year.  

Members of the Wool Working Group:

Derrick Milton: Chairman of the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand Board (WRONZ); Colin McKenzie: CEO of Carrfields Primary Wool and NZYarns; Kate Ackland: Strong wool Farmer; Rob Ford: Pamu: GM Innovation and Technology; Sandra Faulkner: Strong wool Farmer; Miles Anderson: Chair of Federated Farmers meat and wool section; Simon Williamson: Fine wool Farmer; Nicole Oliver: PhD student - Lincoln Uni; Alan MacDonald: Pamu Farms Farmer representative; Andy Cooper: Science Impact Leader-Wool Products & Supply - Food & Bio-based Products – AgResearch; Janette Osborne: Strong wool Farmer; Paul Alston: CEO Cavalier Bremworth; Gretchen Foster: Manager of Strategic Projects, NZ Merino Company; Mark Barrowcliffe: President, New Zealand Shearing Contractors Association; Mark Shadbolt: Wools of New Zealand – Chairman; Grant Edwards: General Manger, PGGWrightson; Paul Ensor: Fine wool Farmer; Gerry Smith: Product Development Director - Wonder Wool; Craig Smith - past chair of the CfWNZInc, GM of Devold Wool Direct and EXCOM committee member, IWTO; Peter Whiteman - President of the NZ Wool Exporters Council and Managing Director of Segard Masurel (NZ) Ltd.