Peak woolgrower representative body WoolProducers Australia is excited to be announced as the recipient of a $800,000 Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) grant to develop pathways for domestic and diversified early-stage wool processing, as announced by Minister Watt today.
Together with Industry co-investment and the recently announced strategic partnership with AusHub the total value of the project is almost $1.1million.
The grant funding allows further exploration of the findings and recommendations of the earlier report, “Ensuring a sustainable future for Australia's wool supply chain” (Phase 1 report), which quantified the commercial feasibility and risk mitigation benefits associated with domestic and diversified early-stage processing of Australian wool.
WoolProducers General Manager, Mr Adam Dawes said, “The Phase 1 report identified that early-stage domestic processing 50% of the wool that we currently produce would deliver almost 600 FTE jobs to the Australian economy and reduce the annual peak impact of a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak to the Australian wool industry by up to $1.1 billion.”
“Domestic processing would also allow for pre-export value adding to Australian wool, with a potential Australian GDP increase of $1.8 billion”, Mr Dawes said.
This next phase of the project will identify pathways toward market diversification and the mitigation of trade risks associated with Emergency Animal Disease outbreak, and tariff and non-tariff trade barriers. The project will road map the establishment of early-stage wool processing operations (scouring and / or carding and combing) in Australia along with 4 priority countries identified in the Phase 1 report; Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Mr Dawes said “WoolProducers are grateful to receive this funding, as it enables the recommendations of the Phase 1 report to be built upon, which established the feasibility of domestic and diversified early-stage wool processing on both commercial and trade risk management grounds. This next phase of work will inform the “what”, “where” and “how”, which will deliver a clear roadmap and finalise our
investigations in this area on behalf of Australian woolgrowers.”
WoolProducers undertook the Phase 1 work with an industry steering committee comprising of representatives from Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), Australian Wool Exchange, Australian Wool Testing Authority, National Council of Wool Selling Brokers and Agents, Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors and Austrade.
AWI CEO, John Roberts said “AWI is happy to work with WoolProducers and the Commonwealth to gain greater understanding of the economics of processing diversification. As the wool industry's research, development and marketing company we are glad to collaborate to further the interests of woolgrowers.”
A tender process will be undertaken in the coming months to engage independent consultants to conduct this study with the support of key industry experts. The work of the project will be guided by a steering committee in the same manner as was employed throughout Phase 1 of the project. It is anticipated that a final report will be developed by the end of 2023.
“We would like to thank Minister Watt and the ATMAC program of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, for providing the funding for this important work.” Mr Dawes said.
WoolProducers Australia contact:
Adam Dawes, GM
0455 442 776
About WoolProducers’ Australia WoolProducers plays a critical role in working closely with companies and entities funded by woolgrower funds including compulsory levies or fees for service.
Its mission is to develop constructive and profitable outcomes for woolgrowers nationally.
The agency is responsible for appointing a director to each of the Australian Wool Exchange and the Australia Wool Testing Authority, promoting good corporate governance and ensuring that the interests of growers are met.
WoolProducers maintains a working relationship with Australian Wool Innovation as the voice of woolgrower shareholders. It aims to contribute to AWI’s programs for the benefit of growers, promoting responsible use of levy funds and ensuring good corporate governance.
WoolProducers is the sole wool industry member of Animal Health Australia, and as such, carries a significant responsibility for decision making on behalf of the industry in the event of an emergency animal disease outbreak.
As the only wool grower organisation with membership of the National Farmers’ Federation, WoolProducers is responsible for providing key policy advice on behalf of our members, and other wool growers, to Australia’s peak farm body.
WoolProducers also works closely with the Federal Government Departments on key issues such as animal health and welfare, biosecurity, pest management control, natural resource management, drought preparedness, emergency animal disease outbreak preparedness and industry development, including research, trade and logistics.