Peak woolgrower representative body WoolProducers Australia are preparing for the release of the final report of the Commonwealth funded Traceability in the Australian wool and sheep industry project.
WoolProducers successfully applied for a grant under the Commonwealth Traceability Grants Program in 2020, with the intent of identifying and making recommendations on an ideal traceability system for wool.
After reviewing existing domestic and international systems, coupled with extensive consultation across the supply chain through one-on-one interviews and two industry workshops, four key elements of an effective traceability system in the wool industry have been identified.
WoolProducers General Manager, Mr Adam Dawes said, “Through our extensive consultation we have identified that in order to achieve effective industry wide traceability for a bulk commodity, such as wool, there are four key elements required of the system, including:
• identification of the source;
• identification of the product;
• a mechanism to record movement of the product; and
• widespread engagement.”
“These elements were recently presented at two online workshops, involving domestic supply chain members and industry service providers who universally supported the concept”. Mr Dawes said.
The project considered the two main drivers for improving wool traceability, those being
biosecurity and provenance.
Mr Dawes said, “With increasing awareness of the threat of an Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) outbreak in Australia, and the increasing importance of provenance and supply chain transparency for consumers, the project aims to facilitate improvements in the current wool industry traceability system and incorporate interoperability with other relevant systems (such as livestock traceability) while seeking to enhance the international competitiveness of Australian wool”.
Mr Dawes also said, “To be competitive, sustainable and resilient, the Australian wool industry requires a best practice, integrated, reliable and effective industry wide traceability system.”
“There are many quality assurance systems and other mechanisms currently in the marketplace that claim to provide traceability for wool, however these commercially focused systems will not provide any assistance in the event of an EAD incursion, and anyone who believes or promotes such messaging is ignorant to the realities of what would happen in an EAD outbreak”. Mr Dawes said.
Mr Dawes said, “WoolProducers are very keen to finalise the recommendations, which will provide the foundations of a future traceability system that addresses both of these key drivers”.
“There were no predetermined outcomes in mind at any time during the project, what we want to achieve from this project is a set of recommendations on how we can deliver a fit-for-purpose traceability system for the wool industry”.
WoolProducers are proud to have shown leadership in this space to achieve industry good outcomes and thank both the Commonwealth and those supply chain partners that have participated in these consultations.
The final report will be made publicly available by the end of the year.
WoolProducers Australia contacts:
Jo Hall, CEO
02 6110 2067
Ed Storey, President
0438 309 500
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.