Australia and South Africa collaborate on wool integrity

Sheep Central, August 11, 2021

AUSTRALIA’S SustainaWOOL Integrity Scheme and South Africa’s Sustainable Cape Wools Standard have joined forces to ensure greater integrity and traceability of sustainably certified wool sources.

The Australian Wool Exchange and Cape Wools SA are now co-operating to certify non-mulesed Merino wool originating from SustainaWOOL Green and Gold growers and South African growers compliant with the SCWS.

The AWEX and Cape Wools SA schemes are the respective national wool integrity schemes and share many similarities, providing wool growers in both countries the opportunity to be recognised for achievement of sustainable wool production practices.

In a joint statement, Cape Wools SA and AWEX said as sustainability standard owners, they have become increasingly aware of the challenges their processing partners face in identifying sustainably-assured wool in consignments with lots from multiple grower countries.

By having mutual recognition between the SCWS and SustainaWOOL Green and Gold, the two bodies said they will be creating a more efficient and cost-effective certification process for their processing partners, paving the way for joint certification between the standards.

Eliminating the need for role-players to independently verify the certified sustainable content of South African and Australian wool in their processing lots, will add value to the users and enhance transparency sought by downstream users in the value chain, Cape Wools SA and AWEX said.

The two bodies said the two standards will maintain their independence, but they believe that this will be the first of many collaborative opportunities to create more efficient systems for industry partners and ultimately increase the availability and access to sustainably sourced wool.

They said the collaboration will streamline certification for downstream supply chain partners and benefit participating wool growers in both countries, by eliminating the need to separately verify the certified sustainable content of Australian and South African wool in the same processing lot.

The two bodies said global sustainability and traceability are increasingly important issues, as consumers become more socially and environmentally aware. This is reflected in increased demand for traceability and sustainability certification across the global wool textile industry, with a growing number of national and international schemes in the marketplace, they said.

Sources: Cape Wools SA and AWEX.


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