A WOOL levy for marketing at 2 per cent of income is much better than paying a 25pc share, which is what The Escorial Company pays for marketing its superfine wool products according to its managing director Peter Radford.
Mr Radford – based in New Zealand and sourcing wool from Australia’s eastern states for its suits, jackets and knitwear – said Australian growers should learn from their neighbour’s experience where growers voted against a wool levy.
“They can barely pay the shearers now,” he said. “The price is $2.50/kg greasy, there’s no promotion, no generic promotion, there’s nothing. That’s where you don’t want to go.”
He wrote to Fairfax Agricultural Media – publisher of 老域名farmonline老域名备案老域名 – after reading feedback online in which some Australian growers wanted AWI canned.
“I have been in the business for 15 years, (and) for 10 or 12 of those years I’ve seen a decrease in the amount of wool in women’s and men’s ranges across the board, to the point where four years ago it was hard to find wool in some stores,” he said.
“We are present in the Northern Hemisphere market year-round, which is where we see AWI operating. We see first-hand how effective AWI is being at promoting Australian wool on a very limited budget.”
Mr Radford said successful marketing such as The Campaign for Wool, incorporating HRH the Prince of Wales, had got wool back into stores.
He said the lead time for wool marketing was three years in his experience. Feedback from US merchandisers was that in the Northern Hemisphere autumn in 2014, wool would return to product ranges where it had not been seen for up to 30 years.
“Without doubt, Australian woolgrowers future depends on effective promotion of wool products to consumers and in my opinion growers are getting amazing value for the current spend of the 2pc wool tax by AWI.”
Mr Radford said while he knew some of the AWI staff, he was making comments as an independent observer of the Australian industry.
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