On Thursday 24th May 2007, Elders Ltd held Australia’s largest ever organic wool sale in Melbourne.
The sale was very successful because as well as the conventional wool price being “up” a premium from 5% to 10% was achieved for the three Organics for Rural Australia (ORA)/Rural Organics Australian Certified Organic (ACO) wool producers.
In the lead up to the sale the organic wool producers, Janie McClure (ORA/Rural Organics), Geoff Redden (Manager of Elders Ltd Premier and Certified Organic Wool) and the ACO office exchanged numerous emails ensuring that the certified organic paper trail was on track as it was imperative to all that this wool be marketed to the world with integrity.
The premium prices McClure & Daughters (Trevallyn Station), Jack Kerr (Tarella Station) and Brendon Cullen (Mt Westwood) received made it well worth their while to continue with growing wool whilst also diversifying into certified organic wool production. For the past few years, wool has been in the doldrums and the incentives for wool growers to remain in the industry have been very low.
In August 2001, ORA received a substantial grant from Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR). It is because of this grant that ORA has been able to work with and mentor growers and also assist them with their marketing following their conversion to organic management and production on their properties.
ACO and Goeff Redden have worked with ORA and Rural Organics since they were launched in 2001 – for Janie it has been about building and developing relationships which combined have created very unique teamwork.
The atmosphere was electric as the Organic sale was announced; it seemed there were four main bidders. Elders BWK purchased all of the ORA / Rural Organics growers wool who provided over 90% of the certified organic wool at the sale.
NOTE : Janie now plans to track the wool to the consumers and report their feedback and comments to her growers.