Wool customers to play bigger role in National Wool Declaration campaign

Terry Sim May 1, 2017

WOOL buyers and customers will play a bigger role in National Wool Declaration promotion and NWD verifications will double to improve awareness and the rigour of the mulesing status and dark/medullated fibre risk statement.

A recent NWD review by the Australian Wool Exchange and its Industry Services Advisory Committee decided to retain the NWD as a mandatory document for wool growers with a communication plan and strategy to create greater supply chain awareness of the NWD’s importance.

Australian Wool Exchange chief executive officer Mark Grave said the proposed communication campaign will build on the good work done to date, but include more interaction from and with the buyers or customers of wool.

“This achieved success in the 2016 campaign and will be developed further.

“Wool growers need to hear direct from their customers and develop closer relationships with them, so they understand what they need and why,” he said.

“An informed market on both sides is critical in making sound business decisions.”

Mr Grave said the percentage of PR declarations has increased and AWEX will increase the number of verifications especially now that more than one product pain relief product is being used.

“Initially this will be doubled from 100 to 200 per year and this will be monitored progressively.”

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Any registered pain relief product has NWD PR status

Mr Grave said any registered and recognised pain relief product that is commercially available is able to qualify for PR status on the NWD.

“This is not a proprietary status and therefore does not exclude any future products that may develop.

“Tri-Solfen is not the only pain relief product on the market, others include Buccalgesic & Metacam for example,” he said.

Mr Grave said AWEX now had four on-farm inspectors, adding greater depth and responsiveness to the NWD integrity program team.

“AWEX is also being contracted to provide independent on farm services for other schemes such as Sustainawool.”

Mr Grave said AWEX and its board had never been in favour of making the NWD mandatory in what is a self-regulated industry. There was no support from the ISAC nor the AWEX board for mandating the NWD, despite calls for this from some farmer bodies, he said.

“When we first introduced the NWD the declaration rate was about 38pc and today, nine years later, it has increased to 60.6 percent.

“This is a good result from a sustained campaign to wool growers, wool classers and wool brokers; however, this doesn’t mean the industry can be complacent as the declaration rate can improve further.”

As part of the review, the Ceased Mulesing definition was improved to support the integrity of the NWD and family interlotting of wool with the same mulesing status is allowed.

Family interlotting is where a family which runs a clip, which may be grown or prepared from sheep of the same blood line, the same or neighbouring property, or same management and/or husbandry practices, but has different ownership.

Parents, children or partnerships within the family, which may have different farm brands, are now able to, where appropriate, lot or aggregate their similar lines of wool together and where the mulesing status of each line or lot being aggregated is the same, then the mulesing status can be used and published for that interlot, Mr Grave said.

“Previously each owner of a clip was treated individually and therefore if lotted as a ‘family interlot’ the wool could not have had a mulesing status applied.”

The AWEX board has approved the NWD Version 7.0, April 2017 attached to the full AWEX NWD review outcomes summary here.

Copies of the NWD combined with the Classer’s Specification, as well as separate NWDs, are available on the AWEX website

Source: AWEX.


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  1. Edward Wymer, May 1, 2017

    Mr Grave, you should know by now that self regulation never works. If it did, we wouldn’t need a police force.

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