12 Sep 2009

State of NZ wool industry seen as national tragedy

2:57 pm on 12 September 2009

The head of Wool Partners International says the state of the wool industry in New Zealand is a national tragedy.

Teresa Gattung, the former Telecom chief executive, says New Zealand produces the best quality wool in the world and 30% of the wool used worldwide for carpets is grown in this country.

But today's farmers are getting less than half what they were getting for wool 20 years ago - which Ms Gattung describes as 'crazy'.

She told Country Life the world wants more products which are sustainable and is prepared to pay for those products.

Ms Gattung said the wool industry in New Zealand is fragmented and there are too many steps to exporting it.

She said there is no link between the end user customer and the New Zealand farmer.

Wool Partners International owns the largest wool handling facility in New Zealand and owns Wools of New Zealand, which has offices in New Zealand, UK, USA, China and Europe.