Woolworks New Zealand is set to make structural changes to its business model to, it says, realise future growth aimed at lifting farmgate returns.
The world’s largest woolscourer, WoolWorks will form a new division to explore and realise new opportunities to capture greater market value for wool.
WoolWorks chair Rob Hewett said WoolWorks Ventures will be focused on new projects and innovations that can deliver growth for the company, woolgrowers and the sector.
The existing WoolWorks business will continue to operate three wool scouring plants in Napier, Clive and at Washdyke in South Canterbury.
Hewett said the company is concerned that NZ woolgrowers are not receiving an adequate price for their wool.
“As a global leader in early stage wool processing, WoolWorks agrees that this situation must be addressed.
“These changes are about doing what we can to help lift returns for farmers.
“We can see several significant growth opportunities to enhance aspects of the value chain from the farm through to the end manufacturers and their customers.
“Creating WoolWorks Ventures is recognition that we cannot realise these opportunities through the existing business model.”
WoolWorks Ventures will be the vehicle to execute ambitious growth plans, he said.
“Our mission is to elevate NZ wool as a natural, sustainable and ethical fibre of value to consumers who seek products with these attributes.”
WoolWorks has invested heavily in decarbonisation and programmes such as the Science Based Targets initiative.
“We feel that it’s important that the value of these global commitments can be passed back through the chain to the farmer and woolgrower.”
Hewett said WoolWorks investment and the support of Wool Impact will assist the overall wool sector in the identification of new consumer-led uses and branding opportunities globally, which will add to demand with expected increased pricing for strong wool in the medium term.
“With a global move to natural and sustainable fibres through new and innovative products, models and changes in regulations, including eco-standards, NZ strong wool is set to find a more meaningful place in a rapidly evolving and changing marketplace for interior textiles and emerging opportunities.
“Much work is going on in the background to ensure that this happens, and the structural changes that we are making at WoolWorks are all about realising these opportunities.”
As part of the changes, long-term WoolWorks chief executive Nigel Hales has been elevated to the new role of company president.
Chief operating officer Tony Cunningham will assume the role of chief executive WoolWorks operations, while Rosstan Mazey is promoted to lead the new WoolWorks Ventures division.