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Woolgrowers consult on industry research plan

Sunday, 08 July 2001

Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI) met with more than 40 key woolgrower and wool industry representatives in Sydney yesterday as part of a wide consulting process for the development of the company's strategic investment plan for the next five years.

AWI Chairman Ian McLachlan said participants representing growers from all states and from different sectors had provided valuable feedback on research and development (R&D) priorities for the company.

"The AWI Board is consulting with a wide cross-section of stakeholders at a number of different meetings and we will take this feedback into account when finalising our strategic investment plan for the next five years," Mr McLachlan said.

"Woolgrowers voted nine months ago to continue to commit two per cent of their wool proceeds to research, development and innovation for the next three years and we will be investing that money in line with shareholder wishes.

"AWI invests about $60 million in R&D each year and in determining where that is invested we are absolutely committed to two things - helping woolgrowers produce wool for less cost than previously and increasing the demand for wool."

All seven AWI Directors, Chief Executive Officer Dr Len Stephens and key AWI management personnel participated in yesterday's workshop with industry representatives that included WoolProducers, state farm organisations, the Australian Superfine Woolgrowers Association, the Australian Wool Growers Association, the Stud Merino Breeders Association, The Woolmark Company, the Australian Wool Testing Authority, wool processors, exporters and agents.

"It was pleasing that there was broad support for the range of AWI R&D programs and participants gave us clear feedback on priority areas," Mr McLachlan said.

"There was a range of views on some areas and these will be considered as these programs, like all our programs, are evaluated on an ongoing basis."

The Board is now finalising the five-year strategic investment plan and it will be available in early August.

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