Italian Wool Excellence Club contract helping to arrest superfine decline

Terry Sim, August 2, 2017

CONTRACTS for sustainably produced high quality traditional style Saxon superfine wool are helping to halt the decline in production of the luxury fibre.

New England Wool managing director Andrew Blanch said growers in the Vitale Barberis Canonico Wool Excellence Club are trying to increase their production of traditional superfine wool.

“You can see that by the purchase of rams, by them keeping sheep a bit longer and some of them are thinking about going back to keeping wethers, which hasn’t been happening for a while.”

“We believe we’ve stopped the rot as far that is concerned,” he said.

“Certainly within the club, I can see it turning around.”

Australian growers of high quality traditional superfine Merino wool meeting the VBC Wool Excellence Club contract criteria could be rewarded with premiums of around 15 percent above other contract prices.

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Vitale Barberis Canonico through its agent New England Wool has released a new six month August-December season contract with pricing from 20-50 percent above the market, plus a further 6 percent premium if that suitable wool is from non-mulesed and ceased mulesed properties.

The contract is exclusive to members of the Vitale Barberis Canonico Wool Excellence Club. The club members are eligible for some of the highest contracted prices for high quality traditional superfine wool offered in Australia and are accredited for sustainable wool production and high levels of animal welfare under the SustainaWOOL Integrity Scheme.

VBC said the club was established to reward its members for their ongoing loyalty to producing the highest quality 14.6-19 micron Saxon wool, and their commitment to sustainability. The club aims to provide an incentive to its members to continue their dedication.

VBC WEC super spinner wool premiums 40-50pc above market

For accredited SustainaWOOL Integrity scheme growers producing super spinner type wools from sheep mulesed with pain relief, the VBC WEC contract price is 40-50 percent above the market, spinner types are priced 30-35pc above auction indicators and best top-making types 20-25pc above the market.

A further 6pc above the listed Australian Clean On Floor (ACOF) price will be paid for lots from farms who have ceased or never mulesed their stock and are SustainaWOOL Green accredited.

Based on mid-July auction market rates, high quality 17 micron non-mulesed wool under the contract would be valued at about 544 cents above the latest price indicators for similar micron and quality fibre, and over 700 cents if coming from farms that have ceased or never mulesed. Higher premiums are available for the very best spinners style wools produced by club members.

VBC said to receive the prices, club members commit to deliver wool that meets the exacting standards of the contract, and Vitale Barberis Canonico commits to purchase the pledged lots matching the requirements at the agreed price per type.

Members of the club are specially selected by VBC for the Wool Excellence Club and are the preferred suppliers of the highest quality Saxon style wool for their luxury suiting fabrics. Members are carefully chosen, or can nominate themselves for selection, using a set of strict criteria and must be currently accredited under New England Wool’s SustainaWOOL Integrity Scheme (Green or Blue, and complete a National Wool Declaration (NWD) for the entire clip.

VBC’s raw wool buyer, Davide Fontaneto said VBC remains convinced that it is only possible to produce the best fabrics in the world through quality wool.

“For this reason, we try to support those producing the best wool, Saxon wool.

“We are building a partnership where growers are proud to belong to the club and know that their wool reaches the most important and luxury markets globally.”

VBC business surpasses 10 million metre fabric milestone

The VBC business has grown phenomenally in recent years and in 2016 reached a milestone of 10 million metres of fabric produced. Purchasing of raw material has also increased from about 25,000 bales annually to more than 30,000 bales in the past year.

NEW managing director Andrew Blanch said growers were able to take up either a one, two or three-year VBC WEC contract last year. The new six month contract has been available for those who chose the one year option. Another six month contract will be released in January 2018 for growers shearing later in the season.

“The market is at a high level and we are trying to bring all of the club members along together, but there has been flexibility available and growers have been able to lock in historical prices for periods of their choosing.”

Mr Blanch said growers had previously been asking for long term contracts and VBC has given their exclusive suppliers this option.

“We are in new territory now with the increase in the physical market and I believe the premiums in this VBC WEC six-month contract make it worthwhile to grow that Saxon type of wool again.

“I think it is certainly is a very good premium when you compare it to prices over the past 20 years.”


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  1. Peter Radford, August 29, 2017

    Thank you

  2. Peter Radford, August 29, 2017

    Please forward me article

    Kind regards

    Peter Radford

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