Wool is a conscious choice. You choose to be a farmer. You choose to grow wool instead of meat or crops. Similarly, designers choose to use wool over other fibres in their collections. Consumers also have a conscious choice whether to buy wool products.
Our industry is in a strong position. Many of you are taking advantage of current market conditions by investing in new infrastructure – new yards, fencing, sheds and even practice change – because we all know choosing to invest when times are good enables us to future proof and build resilience.
As you’re making these business decisions to invest for tomorrow, we’re doing the same. That’s why we’re recommending woolgrowers vote to maintain the 2% levy, because like you, we want to invest when times are good.
This is especially important given the historical volatile and cyclical nature of wool prices, so we must invest responsibly.
Over the past three years, we’ve increased resources across the business and we now have the right people and resources in the right places to deliver more for woolgrowers. We’ve also built up a responsible buffer in our reserves, which will help to protect the company against future price volatility. By maintaining the 2% levy rate, AWI will be able to operate at an optimum level to continue to deliver benefits to woolgrowers.
If the 2% levy is maintained, we can continue to deliver our core R&D and marketing programs to address your profitability and productivity priorities. We’re also able to look at investing in major projects to address those issues that are important to the industry (such as automated wool harvesting), rather than just the essentials.
While there are currently strong demand signals, we must keep marketing Australian wool. As any business knows, if we take the foot off the pedal or stop promoting ourselves, we’ll leave a gap in the market that will undoubtedly be filled by someone else. The global trend of provenance and traceability has shifted consumer priorities, and they’re now looking for natural, sustainable products, like wool. Unlike synthetic fibres, we have a unique and personal story we can tell about our fibre. And people are listening. By maintaining a 2% levy, we can keep investing in marketing and bring the world to your product, positioning wool and all its natural benefits as a premium luxury fibre.
To make sure we have a place in the apparel and textile market of the future, we must continue to push the boundaries of our fibre as we have been in recent years. We can only do this through continued investment in product and processing innovations, revolutionizing how wool is thought of and used – no longer that itchy, bulky school jumper of days gone by, but a luxurious, high performance, technical fibre that is the natural, sustainable and the obvious choice for the modern consumer.
It’s your choice to invest in your industry. The future profitability for you, sustainability for your industry and global demand for your product rests on this choice. It’s AWI’s responsibility to action this choice and we can do this best if you vote to maintain the 2% levy.;
WHY AWI DOESN’T RECOMMEND MORE THAN 2%
While AWI could invest even more for growers at 3% or 2.5%, we believe 2% is the optimum level to balance our financial responsibility with our capacity to deliver benefits for growers.
WHY AWI DOESN’T RECOMMEND 1.5%
It is not viable to maintain the level of investment in R&D and marketing at 1.5% in the long term, and AWI would not be able to continue to deliver R&D and marketing benefits for woolgrowers. We would have no capacity to invest in new investment opportunities and no buffer in our budget against any future wool price volatility, meaning existing programs may have to be discontinued.
WHY AWI DOESN’T RECOMMEND 0%
At 0%, there would be no way to address key woolgrower priorities that support profitability, increased demand or industry sustainability. We would have no money to invest in R&D to continue to solve problems and help woolgrowers in the fight against flies, wild dogs or any future industry threats. We would not be able to market your wool and there would be no way of maintaining or increasing global demand for Australian wool.