20 Mar 2015

Well-heeled wool deal

5:49 am on 20 March 2015

The state owned farming enterprise Landcorp and some other farmers will be getting a premium price for some of their wool, as the result of a deal that the New Zealand Merino Company has stitched together with a Danish footwear firm.

wool

Photo: 123rf

More than 90 tonnes of strong wool from Landcorp farms will be supplied over two years for the manufacture of Glerups indoor shoes.

A further 90 tonnes of finer mid-micron wool from other farmers will also be shipped to Denmark as part of the deal.

The felted woollen shoes with a leather sole are in demand in colder parts of Europe and are exported to 20 countries, including New Zealand.

New Zealand Merino's Marketing Manager, Gretchen Foster, said the contract was worth around $1.5 million dollars to the growers, so it was a valuable new market for their wool.

"So the price is a good price, and it's reflective of the fact that Glerups receive some certainty in terms of getting the quality that they need and also support from a marketing perspective.

"Prior to this deal, they used to source wool from auction.

"They had no idea whether they could get the type they required at the time they needed. They had no connection with the suppliers of the wool. They are a family business and so those values are really important to them."

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