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Direct Selling Wool to Chinese Carpet Mills?

Greetings Readers

An unforeseen aspect of managing this site is the occasional contact from an overseas company seeking contact with a supply source of meat or wool. At the time of the foot and mouth outbreak a wee flurry of contacts from the Middle East seeking lamb supply were received.

Today an email from supposedly a NZ based company is requesting quotes for a monthly supply of wool

“We have some business contact with Chinese market. One of the carpet companies in China needs wool for making wool carpet. The details are as follows:

Type:107 or 108, 3-6

Quantity: 70-80tons/month

Could you quote in C.I.F Tianjin or Beijing or F.O.B?”

Your editor is not familiar with the type descriptions but assumes that it is length and colour of fleece wool.

The question raised, by this casual and improbable request, is how imperfect are the current wool marketing systems for NZ wool and how difficult is it for new buyers or users to enter the market.

NZ wool producers have been struggling for some considerable time to devise a wool marketing channel that ensures value is passed both up and down while meeting needs of the customer and the expectation of the producer.

The primary principles of marketing may be promotion, branding, pricing and product quality but often the most financially rewarding marketing strategy is the shortening of the channel between producer and consumer.

The above supply request seems to be indicating that there may be opportunity for individual producers to band together to take the initiative where the industry players and producer board have failed.

Sure there are issues of price and payment assurance but it seems as though the current focus of the industry centres on scrapping over the use of the levy funds and ignoring overt threats of self destruction if certain industry elements wishes are not met.

Not an environment that seems likely to be resolved by gentlemanly agreements to live and let live or the touting of decoupled sales technology or failed product promotion strategies.

Finally the realisation of value for farm production is in the hands of the producer.

The present wool marketing system is a classic example of where the systems and structures of sales and distribution have been allowed to dominate and progressively strangle and the producerss viability.

Anyone with a couple of hundred thousand crossbred ewes is welcome to the contact – let Farmnet know if you want the contact!

Good farming

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