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Primary Wool makes key international appointment

The farmer-owned wool procurement and marketing company, Primary Wool Cooperative Ltd, has taken a major step forward in its objective of linking New Zealand wool growers directly with European and United Kingdom woollen mills.

It has appointed a highly experienced British wool executive to the key position of northern hemisphere wool marketing representative.

Englishman Graham Sugden has had 25 years experience in dealing with woollen mills throughout UK and Europe.

In his new role he will forge relationships between Primary Wool and European/UK woollen mills, opening the way for Primary Wool to lock New Zealand growers into direct back-to-back contractual arrangements with the mills.

Managing director Brian Murray, says Sugden will enable the cooperative to fulfil the vertically-integrated market structure that growers have been talking about and seeking for years.

"This appointment is a massive step forward for Primary Wool because it enables us to bypass the years of footwork and groundwork that would otherwise be needed to build relationships with the mills," he says. "We already have back-to-back contracts between growers and New Zealand mills that are steadily expanding, but being able to put these contracts directly in place in the international arena is a huge step forward for New Zealand wool growers and for our cooperative."

Mr Murray says there has been a very positive response from wool producers to the need to become shareholders in Primary Wool, and the number of shareholders in the company has doubled in six months.

But he says that's not enough, and the cooperative is determined to have more growers fully subscribing their shareholding. Wool producers who take up their full entitlement in the cooperative are able to receive the full cash benefits arising from the cooperative's distribution of proceeds.

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