Historic Winton Saxon wool operation wins excellence award

Sheep Central November 15, 2023

VBC executives Alessandro Barberis Canonico, Davide Fontaneto and Anselmo Palumbo, with Vera Taylor and John Taylor Jnr.

HISTORIC Tasmanian Saxon wool operation Winton has won the prestigious Vitale Barberis Canonico Wool Excellence Award for 2023.

Vitale Barberis Canonico chief executive officer Alessandro Barberis Canonico, raw procurement manager Davide Fontaneto and chief financial officer Anselmo Palumbo presented John Taylor Jnr and Vera Taylor with the award at the Crystalbrook Kingsley Hotel’s Roundhouse Restaurant in Newcastle last week.

The annual award recognizes and celebrates VBC’s Wool Excellence Club members and their dedication to Saxon wool production, highlighting their commitment to superior quality, animal welfare, sustainability, and innovation. VBC is also celebrating its 360th year of operation in 2023.

To be eligible for the award growers must be members of the VBC Wool Excellence Club who are specially selected by VBC using strict criteria and must demonstrate sustainable wool production and especially superfine Saxon Merino wool, highly regarded by Vitale Barberis Canonico for high-end fabric production.

The Taylors won a cash prize along with a week-long trip to the Biella region of Italy. VBC said the trip will be an opportunity for the winners to see firsthand the transformation of their fibre to luxurious fabrics, state of the art technology and meet with Vitale Barberis Canonico representatives.

VBC said with a legacy spanning seven generations, the Taylor family has consistently demonstrated a deep understanding of Saxon wool production and a genuine passion for producing some of the finest wool in the world. Situated in the northern midlands of Tasmania, Winton is a beacon of excellence in the wool industry.

“We are both honoured and humbled to receive the Vitale Barberis Canonico Wool Excellence Award,” John Taylor said.

“As the sole remaining parent stud of pure Saxon genetics, we have a passion to continue on this tradition and preserve the genetics that produce this beautiful fibre.

“Just as VBC has kept their business going for the last 360 years and have not compromised on excellence or quality, the Winton stud will also continue our legacy and look forward to providing Saxon wool to VBC for many years to come,” he said.

Since 1835, the Taylor family of Winton in Tasmania, Australia has been dedicated to farming Saxon Merino wool. As the home of the first registered Merino stud in Australia, the 3300 hectare farm runs about 12,000 Saxon Merinos. John Taylor Jnr represents the seventh generation of the Taylor family.

Mr Fontaneto said VBC was particularly impressed by Winton Farm’s long history like VBC, and their holistic approach to wool production.

“Their dedication to both exquisite quality and sustainability sets a remarkable standard for the industry.

“It is our privilege to recognize and celebrate their achievements,” he said.

VBC executives and staff at the awards, from left, raw procurement manager Davide Fontaneto, marketing manager Phoebe Croyle, wool buyer Stephanie Boyce, VBC CEO Alessandro Barberis Canonico, VBC wool director Andrew Raeber and VBC CFO Anselmo Palumbo.


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  1. Rob and Sally Peter, November 21, 2023

    Congratulations to the Taylor Family. Great recognition for all your dedication. From Rob and Sally Peter. Isolation Saxon Stud, New Zealand.

  2. Martin Oppenheimer, November 15, 2023

    Responsible Wool Standard – the global standard, say no more…

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