Westcoast leads new markets for WA wool growers

AUSTRALIAN-owned wool business, Westcoast Wool & Livestock, has invested in certification to the
global Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) now increasingly demanded by major retail brands,
opening new markets to local growers and the opportunity for above auction prices.

The company also has partnered with AWEX to promote the use of SustainaWOOL.

Westcoast Wool & Livestock is the State’s first brokering company to gain certification to the RWS,
an independent, consumer-driven, voluntary standard recognising best practices of farmers for their
sheep and land management. It also was the first in WA to partner with AWEX and the Australian
industry’s SustainaWOOL Integrity Scheme, ensuring it has sustainability and traceability programs
for all growers to leverage benefits.

These latest moves are attracting an increasing number of growers keen to market wool through the
company under both systems.

Coordinator of RWS and SustainaWOOL for Westcoast Wool & Livestock, Justin Haydock, said the company understood the push coming from the consumer level and the programs were about
acknowledging farmers were “doing the right thing’’.
“As a broker, we understand we have a responsibility to offer growers the best possible avenues to
market – that is why we are leading the industry and promoting the programs in WA,’’ Justin said.
He said under RWS, which is managed by the Textile Exchange, farms must meet certain standards in
the areas of animal welfare, land management and social welfare. Justin conducts the required onfarm audits for RWS-certified wools.

Brad and Justin discuss some of the wools from Westcoast Wool & Livestock grower clients targeted for the RWS and SustainaWOOL programs. Justin says wool types range from short fleece wools through to cardings and pieces, and while prices can vary, market premiums are definitely available.

 

Brad and Justin discuss some of the wools from Westcoast Wool & Livestock grower clients targeted for the RWS and SustainaWOOL programs. Justin says wool types range from short fleece wools through to cardings and pieces, and while prices can vary, market premiums are definitely available.

Westcoast Wool & Livestock participated in an independent audit to gain its own RWS certification,
which incorporated the company’s wool store operations and management, occupational health and
safety, and full traceability from the moment wool entered its stores through to its sale.
“We have previously had exclusive relationships with processing partners, but under the RWS, we
can sell wool through to any exporter, mill or buyer in the world,’’ Justin said.
“We are currently working closely with five to six different companies, from exporters through to
processors, each looking at the next RWS clips we will have available and their ‘specs’.’’Westcoast Wool & Livestock commences promoting the wools up to a month prior to test results
being available, then offers either direct or via auction.

Westcoast Wool & Livestock participated in an independent audit to gain its own RWS certification,
which incorporated the company’s wool store operations and management, occupational health and
safety, and full traceability from the moment wool entered its stores through to its sale.
“We have previously had exclusive relationships with processing partners, but under the RWS, we
can sell wool through to any exporter, mill or buyer in the world,’’ Justin said.
“We are currently working closely with five to six different companies, from exporters through to
processors, each looking at the next RWS clips we will have available and their ‘specs’.’’Westcoast Wool & Livestock commences promoting the wools up to a month prior to test results
being available, then offers either direct or via auction.

 

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