Woolly prospects for producers

22 November 2021
  • WoolProducers Australia have been awarded a $662,000 grant to explore new markets and processing options (both domestic and international) for Australian wool.
  • The grant is part of the Australian Government’s Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) program.

WoolProducers have received a $662,000 grant to explore new international markets and examine options for wool processing.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the grant would have help identify new opportunities for the Australian wool industry.

“Currently, the bulk of Australia’s wool clip is exported to and processed in a small number of markets,” Minister Littleproud said.

“If there’s one thing the global pandemic has taught us, it’s that market diversification is important for healthy industries.

“By looking for alternative markets for our wool, we can make sure we aren’t falling into the trap of putting all our eggs in the one basket. 

“This grant will examine the feasibility of bringing back early-stage processing of greasy wool in Australia. It will also examine the feasibility of early-stage processing in offshore locations, providing our wool producers with new markets.

“It could also mean investment into manufacturing, greater job opportunities in our regions, and a chance to value-add to our wool before export.”

WoolProducers Chief Executive Officer Jo Hall said the grant was an opportunity to develop and diversify the wool market.

“Australia is the world’s biggest exporter of wool, and the quality we produce is the best in the world,” Ms Hall said.

“There are 60,000 wool producers in Australia, and 200,000 people employed by the domestic wool industry supply chain.

“This is a chance for us to sustainably grow the industry through investigating ways to pivot to other markets.”

Fast Facts:

  • The Australian national wool clip is worth approximately $3.5 billion annually.
  • The Australian sheep flock is expected to reach 68.2 million head by the end of 2021–22. A good growing year is expected to increase wool cut per head to 4.54 kg.
  • $6.6 million in ATMAC grants have been awarded to 8 projects in 2021. 
  • ATMAC is part of the Australian Government’s $72.7 million Agri-Business Expansion Initiative.