‘chain of custody’ to drive wool premiums _ queensland country life market risk management in banks ppt

AS the spotlight continues to shine on production, the sheep and wool industries have been called on to improve their consumer awareness or risk jeopardising market share.

Speaking at the World Merino Insight in Adelaide, Rabobank wool analyst Georgia Twomey said moving away from commodity based pricing structures for premium products, such as lamb and wool, would be reliant on producers being sympathetic to consumer values.

“If sheepmeat and wool are not going to be in the same realm of competitiveness in terms of (competing protein and fibre) prices, what is your value proposition?” Ms Twomey said.

“Mulesing unfortunately is a problem the industry will need to address and come up with better alternatives in order to respond to what our customers are asking in order to capture that market growth for sustainable

and ethically produced products.”

With sheepmeat and wool playing a small role in global demand, Ms Twomey said the opportunity was not there to just feed and clothe the world, but improve the value for each kilogram of product produced.

“To target a value market, the interest and detail required in terms of what our customer understands about what the producer ‎does is only going to increase,” she said.

“If the proposition is to sell wool as a sustainable, biodegradable, flame retardant fibre… that is in line with the brand’s integrity and their supply chain of custody, they will be fully aware about how it is produced.”

She said synthetics were not standing still on the “ethical” selling points, investing in recycling and environment programs which could impact wool’s demand.

“The wool industry is quick to market it’s natural and biodegradable attributes and therefore have a moral high ground in this argument, but ultimately from a brand perspective they are protecting their synthetic supply chains’ interests as quickly as they are trying to their natural fibres.

“This will require the wool industry to ensure they are staying a head of the game in terms of the production issues and for producers to consider these customers thoughts when they make production decisions in the future.”