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AWEX and SustainaWOOL form first auditing alliance

Sheep Central, March 16, 2015

AWEX logo1SustainaWOOLSuperfine wool exporting company New England Wool’s SustainaWOOL Integrity Scheme is exactly the type of commercially-driven program that Australian superfine merino wool growers and wool growers in general have been looking for,  Australian Wool Exchange chief executive officer Mark Grave said today.

“Wool growers want to strengthen their relationships with buyers and downstream users of Australian wool who want to share their story – that Australia produces a wonderful fibre of the highest quality and care.”

Mr Grave made the comments on the announcement of an alliance between AWEX with New England Wool to assist in the auditing of the newly-launched SustainaWOOL Integrity Scheme.

The scheme, that asks growers to complete a self-assessment declaration covering areas such as animal welfare, traceability, chemical handling and use, and wool quality, has a requirement for random desktop and on-farm audits.

“AWEX is especially proud to be working with New England Wool, supporting the SustainaWOOL Integrity Scheme.

“Wool has a rich history and a great story to tell and it is the integrity and provenance of that story that matters to the customers of fabric makers Reda and Vitale Barberis Canonico, represented by New England Wool,” Mr Grave said.

AWEX alliance has benefits

NEW managing director Andrew Blanch said asking AWEX to help with the audit process has two main benefits.

“Firstly, AWEX already has a wealth of experience in the desktop and on-farm auditing arena due to their National Wool Declaration (NWD) scheme and we did not want to reinvent the wheel.

“Secondly, the NWD is an integral pillar to our SustainaWOOL Scheme so it make sense to use AWEX to assist in our audits,” he said.

“Together, we have developed the most appropriate and practical auditing methods for our scheme.”

The New England Wool “SustainaWOOLTM Integrity Scheme” was launched in early February this year for use by current and future NEW wool suppliers. New England Wool represents two high-profile fabric makers in the Biella Region of Italy, Reda and Vitale Barberis Canonico. New England Wool is also the world’s largest purchaser of the highest quality “spinner” style superfine wools.

New England Wool wants consumers to see growers care

Mr Blanch said New England Wool, in conjunction with its Italian shareholders, wants the wool-consuming-world to understand that its raw material suppliers (wool producers) take the utmost care with their animals and the environment.

“The basic philosophy of the SustainaWOOLTM Integrity Scheme is to promote the production of the highest quality wool via the sustainable management of natural and physical resources.

“New England Wool understands that it has a major role and responsibility in promoting the highly professional and ethical wool production systems of its suppliers to the world,” he said.

“It also has the important role of advising potential suppliers of areas that could be improved or enhanced in their particular production systems.

“The SustainaWOOLTM Integrity Scheme is a tool which we want to share with our valued suppliers to help us work and grow together in an increasingly competitive landscape.”
Mr Blanch said New England Wool wants its suppliers to grow and prepare the highest quality wool with the highest quality environmental and production credentials.

Source: New England Wool, AWEX.

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