WIA News

FAWO passes changes to its Constitution

10 Sept 2019 – Fibre2Fashion

wool.jpgPic: Shutterstock

The Federation of Australian Wool Organisations (FAWO), which represents Australia at the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) and addresses wool industry issues both locally and internationally, has passed changes to its Constitution to promote wider participation in its activities, including change in its name to Wool Industries Australia (WIA).

The changes were passed at the annual general meeting of FAWO. Besides changing name, there are also other changes of a structural nature. FAWO is a top wool industry body whose membership comprises AWEX, AWH, AWI, AWTA, and national associations representing wool growers, brokers, exporters and processors.

FAWO also organised a forum in which its member organisations discussed the impact of the drought. Over 70 people from growers to retail, and from the service sectors participated in the forum.

There are many issues the industry faces. In 2018/19, 12.1 per cent less wool was produced and a further 5 per cent less is expected in 2019/20. There is a need for wool growers to purchase grain and hay to feed their sheep.

Brokers referred to the impacts on their staff from their direct interaction with wool growers who are living with the drought. They also referred to the loss of expertise from the industry.

Wool exporters seem to be facing great difficulties in meeting customers’ contract specifications, particularly for wool types that have not been in large supply, even before the drought. There has been increasing demand from Australia’s customers for wools that meet traceability, sustainability and animal welfare requirements.

The importance of responding to this type of challenge was highlighted in a presentation by Country Road CEO, Scott Fyfe. Country Road’s vision includes a “Responsible Wool Strategy”, which states: “All Country Road’s pure wool and wool rich products will be fully traceable and certified by a credible third-party to ensure high animal welfare standards and sustainable farming practices by Winter 2025.” (SV)