Wool

Deal values Kiwi Tim Brown’s woollen sneaker firm at $2b

[12 October/The Country] New Zealand woollen sneaker maker, Allbirds, raised USD50 million at post-money valuation of $1.4 billion. It was co-founded by Tim Brown. The funding was led by T Rowe Price Investment Management, along with Fidelity Management & Research Company, and Tiger Global. Total investments were USD75 million. Some of the money would be...

Big southern double at NZ Merino Championships

[1 October/The Country] There were two dream wins for the south at the recent New Zealand Merino Championships in Alexandra. A female from the Alexandra area, Pagan Karauria, won the open woolhandling title for the third time in for years. She was also awarded with her Master Woolhandler award during the same weekend. Invercargill shearer,...

Otago merino making mark in space thanks to Armadillo

[5 September/The Country] Merino wool from sheep in Otago had made it to space, taken part in military operations, fought wild fires, and protected extreme endurance athletes. Garments made from the wool were manufactured by Armadillo Merino. Its founder, Andy Caughey, said the garments were being used by professional risk takers due to the properties...

Sheep wool can help cats’ diets

[17 August/The Country] According to AgResearch scientists, proteins from wool could be added to animal diets to improve their health. They said positive findings in domestic cat diets would open up possibilities for new uses of sheep wool. AgResearch’s Science Group Leader for Food and Bio-Based Products, Dr Jolon Dyer, said there was a lot...

US company buys NZ wool for home insulation

[5 August/Stuff] New Zealand wool producers have landed a contract to supply a U.S. company with fibre for home insulation. They claim wool was a healthier alternative to fibreglass, which has been disputed by fibreglass manufacturers. The deal would include 200 tonnes of Landcorp coarse wool supplied to Havelock Wool. Havelock Wool Managing Partner, Andrew...

Working group ‘last chance saloon’ for wool industry

[30 July/The Country] According to Carrfields Primary Wool Group Chief Executive, Colin Mckenzie, a working group was the last chance for the industry. He was one of 40 people invited to the meeting hosted by Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor. CPWG accounted for around a quarter of New Zealand’s wool clip. Mr McKenzie added there needed...

Wool sector to connect threads

[23 July/Farmers Weekly] The wool industry was set to move forward with a new purpose and a plan for action. Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, said key players would form a group to better tell the wool story and give it a sense of direction with a purpose for the future. He added there was a...

Wool summit to seek to offer answers for future

[14 July/Rural Life] A summit hosted by the Ministry for Primary Industries aimed to offer innovative solutions for the future of the wool industry. Prince Charles had sent a message of support to be read at the event. Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, said the industry had struggled to achieve unity, a common vision and strategic...

China demand for NZ crossbred wool lifts; auction prices rise

[25 June/Otago Daily Times] According to the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Situation and Outlook report, there was upside potential for crossbred wool prices over the next two years. The wool market had been struggling due to lack of demand. As opposed to crossbred wool, fine wool prices had reached record highs. Even though market conditions...

Shearers push for 25 per cent pay hike, as farmers struggle to make earning from wool

[8 June/Stuff] Shearers are seeking a 25 percent pay rise in anticipation of another crisis. More shearers are having to travel to Australia to make a good living, and the workforce is steadily aging. The New Zealand Shearers Contractors Association recommended workers’ pay and entitlements are improved by up to 25 percent. Federated Farmers Meat...

Online platform for selling wool to launch this month

[9 May/Radio NZ] Later this month, the Natural Fibre Exchange will go live and be a means of buying and selling wool. It was set up by Wools of New Zealand, Alliance Group and CRA International. Wool New Zealand Chief Executive, Rosstan Mazey, said he hoped the market would appeal to people who bought wool...

Icebreaker buyer VF Corp used sweatshop labour

[4 May/Stuff] Icebreaker was recently sold to VF Corporation, owner of a range of brands including Timberland, North Face and Wrangler, and in its consideration of the transaction the Overseas Investment Office explored allegations in relation to the company’s poor history around worker conditions, including evidence of mistreatment of workers in Asian factories over the...

Merino concerns

[17 April/Rural News] According to Federated Farmers High Country Industry Group Chairperson, Simon Williamson, the sale of Icebreaker to VF Corporation could leave the New Zealand merino production industry with too many eggs in one basket. Mr Williamson said the companies add up to a big chunk of where NZ Merino Company wool goes and...

Icebreaker sold to VF Corporation, owner of Vans and The North Face, for $288m

[9 April/The Country] Icebreaker had been sold for $288 million, according to the Overseas Investment Office. The company was bought by VF Corporation in November last year. In their decision, the office said the new owners had the relevant experience and acumen and were of good character. Chief Executive of VF Corporation, Steve Rendle, said...

Wool still seeking a purpose

[6 April/Farmers Weekly] Few people see value in crossbred wool fibre and producers see little merit investing in wool promotion as customers no longer value crossbred wool. The Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand noted that synthetic fibres had eliminated many of the advantages of crossbred wool. They saw the future for crossbred in deconstructing...

Wool stained yellow by hot summer weather

[26 March/Rural Life] Due to an unusually hot and humid summer, wool in the North Island has been stained yellow which has made it harder to sell, with prices suffering as a consequence. Hawke’s Bay Wool Broker, Philippa Wright, said some North Island farmers weren’t affected but overall there was a difference. Ms Wright said...

Report underlines benefits of natural fibres

[21 March/Otago Daily Times] The New Zealand Merino Company is investing in research to look at the impacts of microplastics on the environment and the benefits of natural fibres as a solution. Its Chief Executive, John Brakenridge, said New Zealand was in a position to provide sustainable fibre alternatives. Synthetic textiles created microplastics through abrasion...

Champion concerned about future of shearing

[13 March/Radio NZ] World Champion Sheep Shearer, John Kirkpatrick, was worried about the future of shearing as both a profession and as a sport. Mr Kirkpatrick has won 149 open finals over his career, including the Golden Shares four times and the world championship last year. He was worried that there weren’t enough younger people...

Low financial returns have New Zealand’s crossbreed wool industry in a crisis

[18 January/ The Country] Campaign for Wool NZ Trust chairperson, Renata Apatu, says the race is now on to reconnect consumers with products that maximise the incredible natural properties of wool.  He hopes for a new era of manufacturing, using robotic technologies to produce niche woollen goods for consumers hungry for sustainable products otherwise it...

US company Smartwool gets quality and back-story from New Zealand merino

[8 December/ Stuff] Leaders from Smartwool have visited the Stonyhurst farm in North Canterbury. Smartwool was a merino apparel company from the United States which sourced 95 percent of its wool from New Zealand. Smartwool Brand President, Travis Campbell said the reason the wool had always been sourced from New Zealand was due to the...

Wools of NZ strategies for the future

[30 November/ NZ Herald] Wools of New Zealand held their Annual General Meeting in Christchurch last week. Wools of New Zealand Chairman, Mark Shadbolt said the company would drive towards revolutionising the industry through a focus on research and development, the development of innovative technologies, and product authenticity initiatives. Mr Shadbolt added that ongoing success...

Wool bosses happy with performance

[28 November/ NZ Herald] Wools of New Zealand Chairman, Mark Shadbolt said he was satisfied with the company’s performance for the 2017 financial year amid challenging market conditions. The company reported a net loss after tax of $321k, compared with a net profit after tax of $1.48 million in the previous year. Mr Shadbolt said...

High-end Norwegian merino clothing manufacturer targets high-country farmers

[20 November/Stuff] Two representatives from Devold, a high-end Norwegian merino clothing company, visited the livestock pavilion at the Canterbury A&P show. Since last year Devold has sourced merino wool from five South Island stations. Devold Chief Executive Cathrine Stange said the stations were taken on as partners. Stations include Armidale from Central Otago and Blairich...

Icebreaker inks $100m 10-year supply contract for NZ merino wool

[10 November/New Zealand Herald] Icebreaker has signed its longest ever supply contract with New Zealand merino wool growers and The New Zealand Merino Company, worth $100 million over ten years. The deal is designed to ensure a long-term supply of merino wool fibre. Pricing will be at a premium in recognition of ongoing loyalty. Icebreaker...