Thursday, November 30, 2023

Wool growers to benefit from NZM, Cavalier deal

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A partnership between the New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) and Cavalier Bremworth will deliver $5 million to NZ strong wool growers over the next three years.
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In its move away from synthetic products in favour of wool and natural fibres, Cavalier Bremworth has entered a partnership with NZM to launch long-term forward contracts with its ZQ grower community.

NZM chief executive John Brakenridge said the deal provides stability to both Cavalier Bremworth and growers, capturing and highlighting the value of the incredible work growers do on-farm.

“The current auction system is failing the industry and it is contracts like this that will enable our industry to plan and move forward to a sustainable economic future ,” Brakenridge said.

“It is also rewarding our growers and showing the world the wonderful job they are doing as custodians of their land.

“Partnerships like this are so important for NZ’s economic recovery, adding value in generating local employment with transparency, and gives confidence and reward to the growth of the NZ strong wool sector.

“It’s great to see local brands like Cavalier shifting the dial and walking the talk in helping counter climate change and carbon emissions with more regenerative fibres.”

Cavalier Bremworth chair George Adams said the agreement is a great example of industry responding to the demand from global consumers for healthier interior products that are environment-friendly.

“We are proud to partner with wool growers and companies whose values strongly align to ours,” Adams said.

Cavalier’s transformation into all-natural fibre carpets and rugs is a response to the global conscious consumer demand for healthier and more sustainable interior products.

Wool carpets are stain resistant, fire retardant and help regulate the temperature in homes.

The wool is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable at the end of its life, Adams said.

Wool governance group underway

The wheels are in motion for the establishment of a wool governance group to oversee the vision for the revitalisation of the New Zealand wool industry.

Following the release of the Project Action Group’s vision and action report last month, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has met with the group and wider sector stakeholders to trigger action.

The meeting on August 3 included 30 representatives from a mix of innovative and forward-thinking firms and established members of the industry. 

“The meeting was used to outline next steps and expectations with the sector,” O’Connor said.

On August 21, the Ministry for Primary Industries is bringing together willing participants for a one-day workshop session in Wellington with the focus on producing a high-level plan and scope of work to establish the appropriate governance mechanism.

O’Connor said it is crucial this next step must lead to real purpose.

“I am committed to ensuring the recommendation in the report for the establishment of a governance group is followed through, and I will be working through that with the vision for this group to oversee a clear and detailed strategy with some timelines,” he said.

The new group will be appointed by O’Connor and, he anticipates, will include global experts specialising in consumer-focused strategy.

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