On the Wallaby | Wool industry is bouncing back

ON THE UP: The wool industry has been working hard to resolve a range of issues which is helping to improve our reputation and increase demand and sales in the international market.
ON THE UP: The wool industry has been working hard to resolve a range of issues which is helping to improve our reputation and increase demand and sales in the international market.

While the media has focused on AWI chairman Wally Merriman it is worth reflecting on where the industry stands today.  

It has been quietly working away to improve the lot of woolgrowers.

The contentious mulesing issue was being worked through quietly and effectively and marketing campaigns had begun to take effect.  Promotions in China have had a great impact on demand; people think current wool prices were due to low supply, but data shows more wool has been sold this year than last year and, of course, increased demand has lifted prices to historically high levels.

Merino ewes are selling at record levels and ram sales have been extremely buoyant.

On the negative side some wool brokers are unhappy with the direction AWI has taken to revamp clip marketing and a section of MLA has attacked the research direction of AWI. In fact wool brokers gain commissions from selling and have no direct input into production. 

Unlike any other industry body, the AWI board is elected directly by woolgrowers and the fact that the chairman holds a handy percentage of annual meeting proxies is surely an indication the everyday woolgrower is happy with industry progress.

AWI figures show that in 2013, 204,488 votes were cast at the AGM and in 2015, it was 85,942 arguably a pointer that there had been acceptance of the direction the AWI board was taking. 

Internationally-renowned Australian chef Curtis Stone will be at Beef Australia in Rockhampton in May 2018, attending with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), a principal partner of the event. MLA Managing Director Richard Norton said MLA was excited to bring a chef as acclaimed as Curtis Stone to Rockhampton. 

Well Mr Norton is entitled to his opinion, however most of us know Mr Stone appears in supermarket advertisements declaring prices are going down. This may be okay while beef prices are booming, but problematic when returns are bottoming out. He also is the face of the allegation that hormones are added to meat. 

Maybe Mr Norton can assist Mr Stone in identifying any risks hormones pose in our food. The ‘no hormone’ argument will go down a dream with any lot feeders attending MLA presentations. Also Mr Stone raises the issue of sow-stall-free pork which would be a mystery to most consumers.

Is Mr Norton seeking to have Mr Stone promote mulsed-free lamb which will have a greater deal of mystery to the consumer.

Mr Stone obviously operates with passion so could he confirm than an egg contains 60 nanograms of hormone and how this poses a health risk?