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Merino and crossbred vote push on WoolPoll 2015

Sheep Central, September 14, 2015

WOOLPOLL2015 logo Mar10-15WOOLGROWERS can cast their vote in WoolPoll 2015 from today and crossbred growers are being urged to become more involved in the triennial event, along with Merino wool producers.

“We are really keen to make sure they (the crossbred growers) feel they are being engaged,” WoolPoll 2015 panel chairman Will Roberts said.

Mr Roberts is unaware how many woolgrowers are crossbred producers and is unsure if they have been under-represented in past WoolPoll voting.

“But we are really keen to engage them as much as we can and to make sure they realise that we do actually think of them.

“It’s all about trying to make sure that everybody feels that they are thought of and the information is out there,” he said.

“Because in the past there has been a little bit of a thought pattern in their minds that we are not actually thinking of them and don’t think of them as levy payers, but we are very conscious that they do contribute.”

Mr Roberts urged every eligible wool producer to exercise their right to have their say.

“I hope every grower in the country, whether they run predominantly Merinos, produce prime lambs or have a mixed farming operation, has their say.

“Everybody is busy, particularly this time of the year, but it’s still important for growers to make a decision on how much of their income they want to invest for the next three years,” he said.

“It’s their money, and their industry’s future, so it’s worth taking the time.”

AWI reiterates preference for 2pc option

Every farmer who has paid wool levies of $100 or more over the past three years is eligible to vote on one of five options – 3 percent, 2.5pc, 2pc, 1pc and 0pc. AWI is seeking continuation of the current 2pc levy, although some grower groups had sought a 1.5pc option before the poll opened.

The WoolPoll 2015 result will determine funding of wool research, development and marketing activities by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) over the next three years.

AWI review and retailer video promoted

In the next few days, growers will receive their voting papers as well as the Voter Information Memorandum and summary of Australian Wool Innovation’s Independent Review of Performance (ROP) to assist them in making their decision.

AWI’s chief executive officer Stuart McCullough said the review, conducted by Deloitte Private, detailed the results of AWI’s investment in R&D and marketing which showed a return of $2.90 for every dollar invested.

This included a return of $13 to $44 on every dollar invested in the Lifetime Ewe Management program, a return of $8.60:$1 invested in wild dog control programs and a return of $2.60:$1 for Shearer and Wool Handler Training investments.

At a series of WoolPoll 2015 roadshows across the country, woolgrowers are also being told of the new supply chains that have been developed in emerging countries and of more than 20 manufacturers in China, Turkey, Italy and India who have improved their wool processing technical skills with AWI help.

A new video involving many of the world’s largest retailers of woollen and worsted clothing explains what a difference this work has made in recent years

Mr McCullough reiterated that the Federal Government’s co-contribution is maximised for matching R&D at the 2pc levy rate.

“Below this rate, growers are not optimising the funds the government will contribute to the industry.”

Growers can find out more about AWI’s programs and discuss issues directly with AWI management and WoolPoll panel members by attending a roadshow presentation in their local area. Details of times and locations are at woolpoll.com.au

More information and a link to online voting is also available at woolpoll.com.au. Growers can also vote through post and fax.

Voting is open from today until 5pm (AEDT), Friday October 30 2015. Growers with any WoolPoll queries can call the voter helpline on 1800 990 365.

Source: Australian Wool Innovation

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