First published in the Beyond the Bale magazine June 2019 by AWI.
WOOLSTAR'S NEW FARM TRACEABILITY PROGRAM
Woolstar is a long-term Woolmark licensee that produces high quality woollen bedding such as quilts, underblankets, mattress toppers and pillows. Company founder and managing director Graeme Kerr says its new traceability model provides its customers, especially in Asian markets, with reassurance knowing that the filling in the products is Australian wool which is well known for its quality.
“By simply scanning a QR code and then entering a product key displayed on their product, customers will be able to see pictures, information and a location of the farm which the wool in the product came from,” Graeme said
“We work only with farmers who are committed to best animal husbandry practices, embrace good environmental processes, while producing the highest quality wool fibre. The traceability gives more credibility to our product, more authenticity, it becomes more genuine.
“Our ultimate vision is to have a direct working relationship with Australian farmers that produce downs wool that meets our specifications – and share their stories and hard work with our customers through our products, thereby ensuring the woolgrowers receive the recognition which they deserve for the amazing wool which they produce.
“Poll Dorset sheep produce downs wool of 28 to 33 micron, and that’s the micron we want because it’s essential for bedding. It has the perfect mix of natural performance, strength and softness, providing excellent loft and comfort for bedding. It’s just a beautiful fibre to work with.”
Graeme says Woolstar’s traceability program complements the Woolmark certification of Woolstar products.
“The Woolmark logo is one of the world’s most recognisable textile symbols, and it indicates that a product bearing the mark is made from 100 per cent Pure New Wool,” he said. “Consumers recognise that Woolmark certified products meet key performance standards – providing confidence that a quality product is being bought.”
WOOLSTAR’S EXPORT GROWTH
The Woolstar brand was established by Graeme 23 years ago in south west Sydney. The company invested in high quality textile machines which provided the opportunity to focus on developing innovative products for both the domestic and export markets.
Graeme says the overseas market as well as the domestic market loves Australian wool products.
“Export sales of our high-quality Australian made, 100% Australian wool products continue to grow,” he said. “Many of our products are exported to countries as diverse as Argentina, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, Taiwan, Turkey, the UK and USA – but China is increasingly important, and we should be seeing more of our products on the shelves of Chinese retailers during the coming years.”
Woolstar was invited to the first ever China International Import Expo trade event in November 2018, organised and supported by China’s Ministry of Commerce.
“Australian wool and manufacturing are extremely favourable amongst Chinese consumers, and the people at the expo were especially pleased to see our Farm 2 Shelf traceability feature which provides them with assurance that Woolstar is an authentic product of Australia,” Graeme said.
“We were very proud to be invited to this event and raise the flag high for the whole Australian wool industry.”