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Quality starts on the farm

"The goal in the new era of quality is to create products that will sell. The emphasis has shifted from quantity to quality."
Mizuno, Company-Wide Total Quality Control 1992.

All your wool doesn't have to be A-grade fleece to be quality assured. It just has to be true to label.

For instance, a customer buying crutchings wants just that. No top knots, dags, dog hair, baling twine or excess dip residues. Just crutchings.

The principle of QA is attention to the process at all steps through the supply line. As a grower you are the vital first link. Your signature on your quality declaration (the grower’s checklist) begins the commitment to QA in the supply line. Everyone else depends on you doing your job right.

Grower benefits

Quality assurance underpins all marketing initiatives for New Zealand wool. Without it, wool has no future. It also has other benefits:

  • It’s your insurance policy, in the event of a trade backlash on issues like excess dip residues or winter shearing.
  • It helps you look at your farming practices through new eyes. Many growers have made useful savings and improved their wool quality thanks to the FQP process.

It won't cost and arm and a leg

Exporters, brokers, merchants, scourers and shearing contractors have taken the quality message to heart and have made an investment in participating in the Fernmark Quality Programme. It's cost them to become ISO and FQP accredited.

Fernmark accreditation is free for growers. You'll have to tidy up the woolshed and yards and perhaps catch-up on a little delayed maintenance here and there. It may – at the most – cost you a few hundred dollars for improved woolshed lighting.

In return, you'll have a much improved workplace. One where you and your wool harvesting team will enjoy working.

And most importantly, you'll be producing a quality assured product – one the market demands and it prepared to pay good money for.

Becoming accredited

Most growers find accreditation a breeze. Basically it involves:

  • Completing a Farm Quality Plan. To make it easy, we provide an easy-to-follow guide.
  • Removing potential contaminants from your woolshed and yards – things like baling twine and super bags.
  • Making sure your shed is a safe, tidy and convenient place to work.
  • Providing the right environment; good lighting in wool handling areas, enough bins, fadges etc.
  • Using qualified staff in harvesting, and preparing wool to the code of practice for clip preparation.
  • Filling out the paperwork to show you’ve followed your Farm Quality Plan.

Self-assessment checklists and external audits make the process credible.

The Accreditation Guidlines and Farm Quality Plan templates are included in the FQP Grower Manual.


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