Field and Read run with Macdonald in AWI election

Sheep Central, October 15, 2021

New South Wales wool grower Michael Field.

AUSTRALIAN Wool Innovation board challengers Michael Field and Steven Read have launched their campaign for election on a ticket with current AWI director Don Macdonald.

With the help of a QR code leading interested growers to a website featuring a blog, a how to vote card and news items, the pair are campaigning on offering a “point of difference” to voters to build on the past work of the levy-funded body.

Mr Field from the New South Wales-based TA Field Estates is claiming to be the biggest fine wool producer in the world. Mr Read is the chief executive of Australia’s biggest and oldest wool exporter Michell Wool.

Mr Field said he and Mr Read believed AWI had “done some great work in the past”, but it was now time to build on that.

“If Steven and I are elected we can bring some fresh blood and new ideas into AWI and re-invigorate it,” he said.

Michell CEO Steven Read.

Mr Field and Mr Read are campaigning:

  • To improve corporate governance;
  • To implement all 82 recommendations of the 2018 EY report;
  • Work more closely with the Federal government, other research and development organisations, wool industry bodies and domestic and international wool customers.

They are also arguing the current 1.5 percent wool levy be maintained and only increased once wool growers see productivity increases, higher demand and prices for wool and that AWI is achieving its objectives.

Other changes they would like to see include reinvestment in sheep genetics programs, pathways to reduce, refine and eventually replace painful animal practices such as mulesing, investigation of strategies to become carbon neutral by 2050 and deal with the shortfall of shearers and shed hands, commitments to more research to enhance wool and sheep production, and more diversification into other overseas markets.

If elected as directors Mr Field and Mr Read said they would work hard to help AWI become one of the best R&D and marketing organisations in Australia and improve the profits of wool grower shareholders. Voting for board positions by registered growers began this week.

In the letter sent to growers, registered AWI voters are asked to divert their voting entitlements away from other candidates, to Mr Read, Mr Field and Mr Macdonald.


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  1. Judith Turk, October 18, 2021

    It is very encouraging to see people with real business expertise getting interested in the management of AWI.
    The focus needs to be on research and development, not on pandering to designers of whom many notoriously only care about their label, not the fibre used. Research has suffered since AWI shifted their focus, to the detriment of the industry.

  2. Paul Favaloro, October 15, 2021

    Mr Field, are you a non-mulesed wool producer?
    Do you still use Fibre Direct or now skirt your wool using a registered wool classer?

    • Michael Field, October 16, 2021

      Dear Paul, thank you for your questions. Yes, we have three of our four flocks certified as non-mulesed. We have always used a qualified wool classer at every shearing, whether the wool is be handled in a traditionally skirted manner, or for unskirted Fibre Direct-type contracts.

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