WoolFirst: Highlighting Strength In Numbers


Press Release


21 October 2010


The Federation of New Zealand Wool Merchants has announced a new Federation brand, 'WoolFirst', and the immediate availability of the networks new website at woolfirst.co.nz.


Federation members agreed at their annual conference in April to work through a re-branding and wool grower re-education programme designed to both enhance the groups efficiency, and to remind the industry that the WoolFirst network represents the largest wool buying group in New Zealand.


Along with the increased unity and collaboration the member network provides, WoolFirst is confident that the technical expertise, geographic spread and personal service that members provide are key elements that will enable them to help improve wool returns to the grower.


Federation President Shaun Ryan says "WoolFirst has been and will continue to investigate options to increase wool demand from the consumer. We've been investing in programmes that are designed to create new demand, and we recognise that as a group we've got to continue to play our part to try and improve returns to growers. We've been working in conjunction with the National Council of Wool Interests to look at the issues that need addressing, and have started prioritising some solutions. The recent lift in prices gives us confidence that the industry is starting to move in the right direction."


WoolFirst is also very supportive of a number of international initiatives to re-invigorate the public perception of wool, such as the recent Architects Project, Prince Charles' new Wool Project, Chinese Wool Testing training and a European lobby group. These are already providing positive signals that consumer knowledge of the benefits of wool, and the subsequent demands for wool-based products, is growing.


Members of the network have also been heavily investing funds in other independent initiatives to improve the efficiency and fortunes of the local industry. The most visible of these projects is the new internet-based wool trading system developed by Wool Online Ltd. This new technology provides the ability to trade wool seven days a week and offers a variety of selling methods, including auctions and tenders. The use of Wool Online provides the WoolFirst network with the flexibility required in today’s volatile trading environment to attempt to maximize grower returns.


Mr Ryan notes that "while these projects and initiatives are showing promise, we do recognise that they're not short term fixes. There's still a lot of work to be done, but we're confident that WoolFirst is going to be in the forefront of that activity."





For more information:

President: Shaun Ryan T: 09 294 9017 E: manukauwools@xtra.co.nz


Vice President: Dean Harrison T: 03 308 0150 E: mainlandwool@xtra.co.nz