A Half Century Of Loyalty To Wool - Bendigo Advertiser, Nov 4, 2014.
THE LAND Thursday, July 10, 2008
By David Everist
WOOLGROWERS are calling for action to ensure that part of the wool levy is channeled into directly promoting wool as a product. Growers are fed up and disillusioned with wasting money on nonsensical research and development programs and costly marketing initiatives when demand continued to fall. Bendigo wool merchant, David Martin said.
Mr Martin said at least part of the two per cent levy growers paid on all wool needed to be funnelled into promotions.
The managing director of Ferguson Wool Bendigo said industry sources were forecasting that prices would continue to erode in the next 12 months by as much as 20 per cent on the current Eastern Market indicator price of 845 cents.
"We are being told that wool volumes are the lowest since the 1930s and our sheep flock has shrunk to the lowest number since 1924" he said.
There is a lack of demand and surely the first step is to promote wool and its wonderful qualities.
"We need a massive promotion program to put wool and woolen products on the front foot and woolgrowers must insist that at least half their levy money is targeted to this area"
Mr Martin said wool was a clean, green product when compared to oil derivative synthetics and should be promoted as being environmentally clean, renewable and sustainable. He said unless the image of wool growing was lifted to the consuming public and to woolgrowers the downward production spiral would continue.
"The disillusionment is real and troubling" he said. Mr Martin said hundreds of thousands of dollars in wool growers’ funds had been spent through the years and now it was time to woolgrowers to become active.
He said it was very easy to become angry with the plight of an industry that was once the pride of Australia. "We need a massive education program where every student in our schools is told of the benefits of wool, where it comes from and its environmental sustainability"
He said it was the young section of the community who would be the consumers in years to come so the time to act was now. "Once we have the Australian scene under control we should investigate a similar program in, say, China where the rising tide of consumerism is made aware of wools great and lasting qualities."
He said it was not good enough to say that this type of program was too hard to instigate.