Wool tracing solution trialled by AWI’s The Woolmark Company

Sheep Central, February 22, 2023

A DNA tracing solution for wool from fleece to fabric has been successfully trialled by Australian Wool Innovation’s marketing arm, the Woolmark Company, with Swiss traceability company Haelixa and Italian mill Vitale Barberis Canonico.

Zurich, 16 February 2023 – The Woolmark Company, the prestigious Italian wool fabric mill Vitale Barberis Canonico (VBC), and Haelixa, the Swiss traceability company, took part in a trial to trace Australian wool fibers up to the final fabric.

A statement by Haelixa said that in December 2021, Haelixa marked greasy wool fibres with their DNA tracing solution.

“There are infinite DNA markers that could be produced and used to indicate a specific origin, supply chain, material, or particular collection.

“In this case, a single DNA has been applied to greasy wool and a second DNA marker to scoured wool,” the company said.

“The first DNA identifies the origin of the Australian wool, while the second determines the manufacturer where the wool has been further processed; at Vitale Barberis Canonico mill.

“The Biellese woollen mill is the symbol of “Made in Italy” excellence, producing quality fabrics with fine wools since 1663.”

Haelixa said samples were collected from various production stages, where a qPCR test was used to detect each specific DNA marker. Haelixa uses a “Key-Lock” system to detect a marker; one needs to know the particular DNA to screen for, ensuring that the system is tamper-proof. The DNA markers stay safely embedded in the product, enabling traceability of greasy and scoured wool up to greige fabric and finished fabric, Haelixa said.

The company said with increasing cost pressure and competition in the wool fabric market, traceability is becoming a prerequisite to proving authenticity and origin.  TWC and Vitale Barberis Canonico support the culture of sustainability and collaboration.

Haelixa CTO and co-founder Gediminas Mikutis  said TWC and Vitale Barberis Canonico share with Haelixa the value of innovative change and quality.

“This collaboration is an example of their efforts to bring sustainable solutions to global supply chains.”

Haelixa said TWC is funded by Australian wool growers as an enterprise that focuses on investments that enhance the profitability, international competitiveness and sustainability of Australian wool.

“In their operations, TWC seeks to be transparent and accountable.

“In line with this strategy, traceability is necessary to ensure transparency and maintain the credibility of TWC,” Haelixa said.


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