Wool report: Organic wool an opportunity for Kiwi farmers – New Zealand Herald

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Rowena Duncum from The Country touched base with Palle Petersen, general manager for Bloch and Behrens Wool New Zealand Ltd. – the export arm of PGG Wrightson Wool.
Duncum was almost afraid to ask how the wool market was looking but Petersen assured her that for the first time in a while, prices had lifted 20 to 30 cents across most sites nationwide.
This was all on the back of a weaker New Zealand dollar and also due to more activity out of China.
In March, China took 37 per cent of New Zealand’s wool export, Petersen said.
There had also been more positive feedback from customers who supplied the airline and cruise ship market.
Overall, things were definitely tracking the right way – but from a very low base, Petersen said.
Duncum expressed pride in the long history of innovation by New Zealand’s primary industries – something which set Kiwis apart from the rest of the world.
Petersen said this tradition continued through organic wool.
Bloch and Behrens had been certified organic wool exporters for over 15 years, he said.
There was a growing market for crossbred organic wool, mainly in the American bedding market.
Consequently, that market couldn’t get enough and was paying two to three dollars clean per kilo for certified organic wool, Petersen said.
This presented a real opportunity for farmers in a growing market, especially with the Global Organic Textile Standard – or GOTS – in place, he said.
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This was a recognised brand around the world that gave consumers certainty that products were environmentally and socially responsible.
Consumers were prepared to pay a premium for certified organic textiles and this meant the organic route for wool farmers could be very exciting in the long term, Petersen said.