Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Strong Wool Action Group announced

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Almost half of the members of the new Strong Wool Action Group also served on the Wool Industry Project Action Group (PAG) that in July presented Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor with vision for the strong wool industry’s future.
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Rob Hewett | September 1, 2020 from GlobalHQ on Vimeo.

That vision included three key recommendations and the new group is a range of representatives from across the primary sector who have been tasked with carrying out those recommendations.

Kate Acland, Paul Aston, John Rodwell, Peter Whiteman and Steve Williamson have all been appointed to the new action group after serving on the PAG.

They will be joined by Silver Fern Farms co- chairman Rob Hewett, who will chair the new group, along with Tony Balfour, David Ferrier, Craig Hickson, Andrew Morrison, Tom O’Sullivan and Nadine Tunley.

O’Connor says the new group will provide a central point for the sector to work with government, and will be an important driving force behind delivering the recommendations from the report.

“When I released the report in July, I called for the strong wool sector to step up to bring people together who will shift the dial and build the necessary foundations to grow our strong wool sector. I’m pleased the sector has stepped up to this challenge.

“I believe this new group will deliver renewed energy, drive new thinking and approaches, and coordinate efforts across the strong wool sector. However, it must work at pace and keep steady momentum.

Hewett says the group will lead change in the sector by bringing a broad range of skills and consumer focus to the challenges facing strong wool.

He says group members represent existing companies in the wool sector, people with marketing and innovation expertise, as well as four red meat processing and marketing companies who have committed seed funding to the group, alongside funding from MPI. 

Future additions to the group will be made as capability requirements evolve.

“Success of strong wool underpins the sheep meat sector and we have a vested interest in the sector’s success,” he says.

“The red meat sector players saw this as an opportunity to help galvanize the strong wool sector. 

“We want to provide stimulus to the value of the fifth quarter, which includes wool, and non-meat products such as pelts, pharmaceuticals, and casings, and support our sheep farmers who need to see a lift in the profitability of their wool to ensure the ongoing viability of hill country farming in New Zealand.

“We will provide scale and impetus to ensure we help get meaningful change in the industry to influence the future of the sector.”


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