Early Stage Processing
The wool supply chain from farm to fashion is perhaps one of the longest supply chains in the agriculture sector. Over time, the global wool production and processing sectors have evolved to become the complex ecosystem that we know today.
Pressures on our industry, resulted in the offshoring of much of Australia’s wool processing capacity throughout the 1990s-2000s. Currently 95% of our wool production is reliant on early-stage processing in a small number of countries before it can be used in the global textile supply chain. This concentrated reliance, together with emerging threats of sanitary and phytosanitary risks; other non-tariff trade barriers; and pressures on international sea freight costs and capacity present tangible risks to the Australian wool industry.
Through the Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) Program, administered by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), WoolProducers was awarded a grant to undertake a feasibility assessment of domestic and diversified early-stage wool processing and determine its trade risk mitigation benefits.
The resulting comprehensive report sets out the next steps that we as an industry can take to improve the long-term sustainability of our industry. Through ongoing genuine collaboration, I am confident that the Australian wool industry has a sustainable and prosperous future in continuing to supply global consumers with the most sustainable fibre in the world.