AWEX e-Bale trial wins $180,000 in federal funding

Sheep Central, June 24, 2021

Reading e-Bale tags with a hand-held reader. Image – AWEX.

A TRIAL of the Australian Wool Exchange’s e-Bale system has been funded by $180,000 from the Federal Government’s Traceability Grants Program.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said the grant would help streamline information in the wool supply chain.

“This funding will go towards a trial application of e-Bale, which is a way of uniquely identifying each wool bale through radio-frequency identification and QR codes.

“The application will work in tandem with the WoolClip system, which will capture the identity of each wool bale as it moves from farm to store to mill,” he said.

“The aim is to focus on filling the information gaps in the supply chain.

“When combined with the National Wool Declaration for mulesing status, and the SustainaWOOL Integrity Scheme, it will make it easier for buyers and consumers to know they are buying a quality, sustainable product,” Mr Littleproud said.

“This will also enhance Australia’s reputation as a responsive and responsible supplier of wool to the international market.”

An opportunity to improve on-farm data capture

An e-Bale RFID tag stuck to the underside of wool pack label Image – AWEX.

AWEX chief executive officer Mark Grave said the grant was an opportunity to improve on-farm data capture.

“If this trial is successful, we should see better information flow from farm to mill, and hopefully less logistical errors in the system as we move towards more automation.

“This will also improve supply chain traceability and enable the rapid identification of wool bales, which can have a number of uses, including during a disease outbreak,” he said.

“We’re very grateful that the grant will give us the opportunity to make life easier for wool growers and consumers alike.”

AWEX said e-Bale utilises radio frequency identification (RFID) and quick response (QR) code technology, giving each wool bale a unique number that is captured in-shed using AWEX’s WoolClip software via an app or the web. The combination of e-Bale and WoolClip creates a conduit between the wool shed and the grower’s selling agent of choice, AWEX said.

AWEX registers wool pack manufacturers/importers and wool classers, monitoring their performance against the Australian standards. AWEX also manages the NWD and its Integrity Program on behalf of the Australian wool industry to build pipeline and consumer confidence in Australian wool. These base elements are integral to wool’s provenance and integrity story, AWEX said.


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  1. Susan Finnigan, June 25, 2021

    Great news. e-Bale tracking with WoolClip is an easy way to ensure provenance and traceability from the source.

  2. Jim Gordon, June 25, 2021

    Well done to the Federal Government for this initiative. If we could take this further with blockchain technology recording everything a farmer does to their sheep through the year right through the pipeline, with full disclosure being recorded on a mobile as it happens, then we would have a foolproof system. We need the best integrity system with complete traceability from start to finish, with minimum cost. AWI, or the Woolmark Company, take note.

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