Australian Wool Innovation chair Wal Merriman has confirmed to this morning’s AWI annual general meeting in Sydney that plans to develop an online Wool Exchange Portal will proceed.
Earlier this year an industry review recommended the creation of an online portal as a path to reducing transaction costs and creating greater transparency in the wool exchange process.
The Wool Exchange Portal Working Group has been assessing the viability of that recommendation for the past four months and was due to give a yes or no decision to AWI at its AGM in Sydney this week. Click here to get Sheep Central story links sent to your email inbox.
Mr Merriman announced this morning that the WEP steering committee members have voted unanimously in favour of establishing the portal.
The decision will usher in a ‘new age’ for growers and transactions, Mr Merriman said.
The Wool Exchange Portal would also address many of the issues recognised in the recent Wool Selling Systems Review.
In a media release issued this morning following the announcement, AWI said the decision followed “an exhaustive two-phase, two-year program of consultation, review and discussion of the wool selling system”.
The AWI Board has asked the WEP working group to return to the AWI Board in April 2017 with a costing, timing and business case model for funding approval of a Wool Exchange Portal.
The WEP-WG would now engage a number of different parties and industry groups and will require specialist skill sets and expertise in the area of digital exchange platform construction.
“We live in an age of extraordinary digital opportunities. As an organisation that seeks innovation we must explore and embrace the opportunities this offers on farm through Agri-Tech, off farm through new fabrics and processing, in our marketing and communication work,” AWI CEO Stuart McCullough said.
“The development of an online Wool Exchange Portal is a natural extension of this exciting era.”
Appointed by the Board of AWI, the WEP Working Group members and their relevant expertise include:
- Will Wilson (Chairman): Digital Platform Transformation/Trade/Competition Creation
Mark Rodda (Executive Officer): Broking/Exporting/processing
John Roberts: AWI Representative
Tony Flannery: Woolgrower – NSW
Rob Lawrance: Woolgrower – VIC
Ed Storey: Woolgrower – NSW
Neil Jackson: Woolgrower – WA
Steve Hill: Quantitive Exporter (Global Wool)
Tim Marwedel: Qualitative Exporter (Schneider)
Peita Piper: Change Management, Process & Communications. UBank (NAB’s subsidiary)
Matt Tamplin: Logistics & Storage (CEO Australian Wool Handlers)Richard Davison/Kym Gunn: LandmarkDave Adamson/Simon Hogan: EldersAndrew Lindsay/Alastair Calvert: RuralCo