Pas­ture key to WA wool wor­ries

Narrogin Observer - - News - Bob Gar­nant

WA farm­ers adamant that Aus­tralian Wool In­no­va­tion should lis­ten to their con­cerns were in­vited to speak dur­ing a meet­ing at Wa­gin.

Headed by AWI re­search gen­eral man­ager Jane Lit­tle­john, the ses­sion in­cluded 20 farm­ers who brought for­ward a range of griev­ances all of which were noted for AWI board re­view.

Ms Lit­tle­john was also in WA to at­tend the Lam­bEx event in which many farm­ers ex­pressed to her con­cern over the AWI Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment-ini­ti­ated per­for­mance re­view re­leased in July with 82 rec­om­men­da­tions.

In reply, Ms Lit­tle­john said it was the in­ten­tion to ad­here to all the op­er­a­tional rec­om­men­da­tions, but any con­sti­tu­tional change would have to be de­cided by share­hold­ers.

Ms Lit­tle­john ap­proached the grower meet­ing with fur­ther in­ten­tion to bring back an ab­so­lute take-home mes­sage to the AWI board.

“Tell me so I can present your con­cerns to the (AWI) board,” she said.

Pas­ture, pas­ture, pas­ture was the in­ter­est of sev­eral farm­ers who would like AWI to in­vest in that space.

Ms Lit­tle­john said AWI in­vest­ments were spe­cific for wool only, but she was on-side with grower’s in­ter­est to pur­sue a pas­ture re­search un­der­tak­ing if she could con­vince AWI fund­ing de­ci­sion­mak­ers.

Wa­gin farmer An­drew Scan­lon said he was pleased AWI lis­tened.

“Hope­fully our in­ter­est doesn’t fall on deaf ears which I am slightly scep­ti­cal about,” he said.

Other farm­ers wished AWI and Meat and Live­stock Aus­tralia could come to an agree­ment on Merino Life­time Pro­duc­tiv­ity data, cur­rently owned by MLP.

AWI program man­ager, fi­bre, ad­vo­cacy and cre­den­tials An­gus Ire­land said eco-foot­print la­belling for all con­sumer prod­ucts would soon be manda­tory.

“Wool’s prob­lem is its us­age of water,” he said.

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