Bremworth chief executive Greg Smith says the New Zealand Farm Assurance programme should be the minimum standard that all farmers are aiming for.
Smith told the assurance programme’s annual meeting in Wellington recently that there was a tremendous opportunity to rebuild wool’s share of the flooring market and his key message to farmers was that quality assurance – programmes like NZFAP – help to boost consumer confidence.
“In June last year, we came on board with NZFAP because we want to let customers know that we care about the things that are important to them.
“Consumers are prepared to invest in more premium products that last longer but they also want supply chain transparency and traceability of materials.
“They want to know all the steps, from farm to floor, to make sure there has been good animal husbandry and they also want to know how farmers deal with their land. If you can show them that, and they believe in the product, they will have an affinity with it and they will pay more for it.
“For those growers who decide to get on board with the standards, there will be that moment when it tips over and there is a premium paid for their wool.”Greg Smith
“For those growers who decide to get on board with the standards, there will be that moment when it tips over and there is a premium paid for their wool. I expect that to grow; we will be expecting to pay a premium and we will be forecasting premiums in the future.”
Smith said that there is a growing number of consumers who are concerned about carbon.
“Consumers are starting to ask about emissions and we believe this concern will continue to rise, which is why as we go forward, NZFAP Plus will become increasingly important.
NZFAP Plus relates to on-farm practice and is more about the next steps, including carbon and other elements contributing to biodiversity.
“It is what the future looks like on farms. Carbon is huge. It is the train that is coming. We don’t have to be perfect, but consumers want to know that we are on a journey to getting better.”
Smith said Bremworth’s goal is to ultimately be using NZFAP certified wool as a minimum standard in its products, because that is what consumers expect but they want to aim even higher than that.
“NZFAP is an essential step on this increasingly important journey for New Zealand wool and our farms.”