12 March 2002

Media Release
Rural and business media

Premiums for quality-assured Drysdale wool in the US

United States mills will pay premium prices for quality-assured Drysdale wool, according to WoolPro and wool exporter H Dawson Wool NZ Ltd.

Dawsons has sent one container of fully quality assured wool to the Karastarn carpet mill in the US and is sending another in May.

Wool for these deliveries is sourced entirely through the Fernmark Quality Programme (FQP) network, which extends from the farm to the export dump store. All wools that make up a delivery can be traced back to the farm of origin.

"The foot and mouth epidemic in the UK has opened up opportunities for quality assured Drysdale to replace wools like Scottish Blackface in carpet yarns," says Carl Ahlfeld from Dawsons.

"The Americans will also pay a premium for FQP wools. At the time we made the deal with Karastarn, the premium was worth around 20 cents a kilo."

Carl Ahlfeld says the Fernmark Quality Programme provides a good marketing tool in the US.

"It’s a guarantee that it’s pure New Zealand wool, and the buyers know there are quality systems in place from farmgate to the mill.

"The American mills have full confidence in Drysdale wool and know that it processes well. Drysdale is a premium medullated fibre, and doesn’t have black fibres like Blackface has," Carl Ahlfeld says.

One of the farmers supplying FQP Drysdale wool to Dawsons, Con Heinold from Raetihi, says the premium made getting FQP accreditation worthwhile.

"I wasn’t FQP accredited when I contracted to Dawsons, but it was part of the agreement that I had to get accreditation," he says.

"I didn’t have to do much to get accredited, just fill out the farm quality plan and put some new lights into the woolshed, which was all I was initially prepared to do."

"We’re shearing our ewes and lambs in April, and we’ll send around 100 bales to Dawsons under the same contract.

"If I can keep getting a premium from being part of quality assurance system, then it makes accreditation worthwhile."

Despite the demand for quality-assured Drysdale wool, Carl Ahlfeld says that the supply is still small.

"We’ve done a lot of promotional work, but it’s hard to source the wool.

"We have a market that likes quality assurance systems like Fernmark, but there’s only a limited supply of FQP Drysdale wool.

"We’ve sold two containers to the one mill. There are other mills that use Drysdale so we think there are good prospects for the future."

WoolPro’s quality systems manager, Kelvin Whall, says the US market understands the idea of a quality assured supply chain, which is what the FQP concept is based on.

"A supply chain with quality links right back to the farm appeals to them."

Mr Whall says the Fernmark Quality Programme offers accredited exporters the ability to differentiate their deliveries on the basis of quality.

"It also provides farmers with a link through their exporter to the marketplace and ensures potentially damaging risk issues can be readily dealt with."


For more information, contact

Carl Ahlfeld, H Dawson Wool NZ Ltd,
Tel 03-353 1419 or 027 226 6084

Kelvin Whall, Manager, Quality Systems, WoolPro,
Tel 03-343 7918


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