Otago Daily Times

‘Tremendous support’ for newly establishe­d Strong Wool Action Group


THE newly formed Strong Wool Action Group is getting ‘‘tremendous’’ support, executive officer Andy Caughey says.

The group was establishe­d to carry out the recommenda­tions of the Wool Industry Project Action Group report, released in July.

A recent update from the group said various industry entities had contribute­d funds and others were in discussion­s to do so.

Contributi­ons committed to date were more than $400,000 and the Ministry for Primary Industries had agreed to match industry contributi­ons.

Additional contributi­ons were still being sought to meet the group’s target of $700,000 from industry which would would mean a total budget of $2.5 million to $3 million to fund SWAG’s work.

Three specialist groups had been set up within SWAG to focus on specific workflows. One had engaged with a couple of decades,’’ he said.

Woollen shoe maker Allbirds was a brand that transforme­d a whole category by creating a brand relevant to consumers.

SWAG wanted to ‘‘build a bridge’’ between consumers and the marketplac­e and strong wool growers through the power of brands.

The impact of Covid19 this year had meant consumers were looking at how they were living their lives and what their values were.

By being pushed to live in their homes, they were starting to look more critically at the things in their lives and what they were consuming was becoming more important.

Wool was a ‘‘wonderful fibre’’ but people had forgotten how it worked. This was an opportunit­y to ‘‘step up’’ and present it in a contempora­ry way.

Science was also on the sector’s side now and, rather than just saying things anecdotall­y, there were proven benefits of having wool in home furnishing­s, he said.

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