AWI's performance reviewed and WoolPoll 2015 Launched
Every dollar invested by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) over the past three years has delivered a $2.90 return to woolgrowers.
The benefits of AWI’s investment in R&D and marketing have been detailed in the recent Review of Performance (ROP) conducted by Deloitte Private.
AWI Chief Execute Officer, Stuart McCullough, announced the results of the ROP at today’s launch of WoolPoll 2015 – the grower vote that sets the research, development and marketing levy for the next three years.
Mr McCullough and WoolPoll 2015 Panel Chairman, Will Roberts, launched the three-yearly poll at a Rural Press Club lunch in Melbourne.
Mr McCullough said investment was critical to ensure the continued delivery of benefits to woolgrowers such as those highlighted in the Review of Performance.
The Review of Performance showed AWI has created value for woolgrowers through improved productivity, increased market demand, growing wool prices, and cost savings.
Mr McCullough said programs that have helped growers improve profitability include:
- Lifetime Ewe Management: AWI investment in this long-term project represented a return of $13 to $44 on every dollar invested. Of those woolgrowers who have taken part in the course, the average participant has improved weaning rates by 11% and reducing ewe mortality by 33%.
- Wild Dogs: AWI funded $3m and leveraged an additional $2.8m from other partners, representing a return of $8.60 on every dollar invested by AWI. This funding supported 98 community wild dog control groups, reducing self-reported stock losses by more than 70%.
- Shearer and Wool Handler Training: AWI funded $2.1m, over two years 2012 to 2013, representing a return of $2.60 on every dollar invested. Now, 60% of trained shearers reporting better productivity and 79% reporting improved shearing quality.
- Supply chains: New supply chains have been developed in emerging countries while more than 20 manufacturers in China, Turkey, Italy and India have improved their technical skills.
Mr McCullough told the audience AWI has recommended that the current wool levy of 2% be retained for the next three years to ensure the continuation of outcomes such as those delivered over the past three years.
He said the Federal Government’s co-contribution is maximised for matching R&D at the 2% levy rate.
“Below this rate, growers are not optimising the funds the government will contribute to the industry,” he said.
Mr McCullough also confirmed AWI had accepted the recommendations outlined in the ROP.
Mr Roberts told the audience the recent Senate inquiry into agricultural levies said a best practice levy model was underpinned by three fundamental principles – the ability for growers to influence; accountability; and transparency.
“We are one of the few industries where every levy payer is provided the regular opportunity to directly influence the levy rate,” Mr Roberts said.
“The WoolPoll Panel is very keen to see every levy payer have their say.”
23 WoolPoll workshops will be held around the country during the voting period to enable woolgrowers to come and speak directly with AWI and WoolPoll Panel members. The workshop dates and venues have now been finalised and can be found at www.woolpoll.com.au
All eligible levy payers – those who have paid at least $100 worth of wool levies over the past three years, are able to vote when WoolPoll opens on Monday, September 14. Voting closes on Friday, October 30.
Growers will start to receive information about WoolPoll over the next few weeks, including their voting entitlement letter. If growers have not received their voting entitlement letter by 31 August, they should call 1800 113 373.
For more information head to www.woolpoll.com.au
Australian Wool Innovation, Corporate Communications
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