Wool Processing

Wool and sheep cooperation explored during India visit

Sheep Central, March 6, 2024

At Woolmark’s Bharat Tex stand was Australian High Commissioner to India Philip Green, centre, with Australian wool and cotton delegates.

AUSTRALIAN and Indian wool industry leaders and government representatives have explored ways to improve collaboration in wool classing and processing, and sheep shearing, during a visit to India last week.

Peak grower body WoolProducers Australia has proposed a model of ‘Grown in Australia, made in India and exported to the world’ after the visit.

WoolProducers chief executive officer Jo Hall said the Australian cotton and wool delegation to India had a mission to strengthen ties between Australia’s natural fibre industries and India’s thriving textile sector.

Ms Hall said Indian industry and government representatives explored ways to improve collaboration in areas like wool shearing, classing, and processing, contributing to a more robust and efficient textile supply chain.

“Discussions also emphasised the importance of fostering a sustainable textile industry, encompassing every stage – from farm to fibre, factory to fashion, and ultimately, foreign markets.”

The delegation’s journey began at Bharat Tex, a mega textile event inaugurated by the esteemed Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi.

“It was a great opportunity to further underscore relations with India’s government and textiles industry, of which WoolProducers have been working on over the past 12 months,” Ms Hall said.

“The Ministry of Textiles has some ambitious goals including increasing India’s textile exports to $100 billion by 2030, including a nearly three-fold increase of woollen exports in the same period, something that the Australian industry can play an integral role in supporting,” she said.

The Australian contingent also visited the Australian Woolmark at Bharat Tex and participated in the Australia Connect session, chaired by Alice Payne of RMIT University, to solidify the connection between the two countries’ textile sectors.

Wool Industries Australia chair David Michell and Australian Wool Exchange CEO Mark Grave represented the Australian wool industry on the panel. Ms Hall said Mr Michell presented on Australia’s industry dynamics, the growth potential between the wool industry and India’s textile sector and collaboration opportunities as presented in the Indian Roadmap in the WPA-commissioned ‘Ensuring a sustainable future for Australia’s wool supply chain – Phase 2 report,” she  said.

Additional discussions throughout the visit, including a CXO Roundtable with representatives from the Australian industries and hosted by India’s Minister of Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal, covering agricultural cooperation between India and Australia’s agricultural cooperation.

After Bharat Tex, the delegation embarked on farm visits dedicated to wool and cotton production.

The wool delegation also included Dr Richard Niall, First Secretary (Agriculture) from the Australian High Commission in New Delhi and Shearing Contractors Association of Australia CEO Jason Letchford. The delegation travelled to the Himachal Pradesh region to see animal management and husbandry and wool harvesting techniques at the North Temperate Regional Station, Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute. It also met with the Central Wool Development Board and Bhuttico Shawls.

Ms Hall said a large part of the interim Free Trade Agreement signed between Australia and India in late 2022 known as AI-ECTA (Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement) focuses on cooperation.

“Given that India has as many sheep as Australia, this trip to northern India further highlighted a number of issues that Australia and India can work together on to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes for both parties,” she said.

“WoolProducers said the important visit to India underscored the commitment of the nations to enhancing a strong and mutually beneficial partnership in the production and textile sectors.

“By working together, Australia and India can pave the way for a more sustainable and prosperous future for the global woollen textile industry,” Ms Hall said.

Australian wool and cotton delegates with the Indian Minister for Textiles and Minister for Trade, Shri Piyush Goyal, centre.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -