The Australian Wool Exchange has wrapped up the WA leg of a national tour to spruik the benefits of WoolClip, a new digital platform aimed to boost technology and traceability from the farm to the warehouse. The national wool service organisation held workshops in Boyup Brook, Albany and Darkan last week, meeting with more than 100 woolclassers, growers and industry representatives to discuss the WoolClip’s rollout and associated eBales. The WoolClip digital platform was developed by AWEX with industry to ensure integrity through the wool value chain, with a digital platform capturing critical wool data, associated declarations and information from the farm to the warehouse. More than 10,000 bales were put through the program after its launch last year, but WA uptake has so far been slow. Elders Williams and Darkan wool area manager Sarah Buscumb — who co-ordinated the Darkan meeting — said farmers left her local meeting feeling positive and with a greater understanding about the technology. “The workshop informed us on how to download the WoolClip app and how the eBale chip worked,” she said. “Growers were instructed on how to set up a WoolClip account that would include their details for traceability.” The AWEX workshops were timely, with WoolClip’s WA use set to surge in the second half of this year. From this month, every wool pack imported into Australia will carry eBale technology that will allow traceability from farm to retailer. The technology is the culmination of nearly 25 years of research by AWEX, with eBale technology captured on-farm through WoolClip. That information is electronically transferred to the selling agent via an eBale radio frequency identification chip and QR code. AWEX WoolClip program manager John Cox and woolclassing registrar Fiona Raleigh led the workshops, with Ms Raleigh also attending the WA Shearing Industry Association annual meeting on June 24 to discuss how WoolClip worked. She said as well as bolstering traceability, WoolClip and the associated eBales provided professional development opportunities to woolclassers and would also provide a solution supply chain complaints regarding errors in the classers’ specification. Commonly-reported errors included incorrect grower details and duplicate bale numbers. “Wool growers benefit from efficiency, creating a permanent soft copy record of their wool (accessible at any time) and increased control over their data,” Ms Raleigh said. “Traceability is a key issue for all agricultural industries and governments alike. “WoolClip is a part of this solution.” WASIA president Darren Spencer said the technology would make data easier to transfer “without any stuff-ups”. “It will allow growers wool to move quicker into auction consignments with scanning technology able to read the eBale tags when the load of wool bales drive into the stores,” he said. WoolClip was designed as a digital solution to improving the recording and transfer of information from the wool shed through the warehouse and the supply chain. Through 10 years of development, it is now recognised that WoolClip will play a significant part in improving wool’s traceability and provenance in the event of a biosecurity event. It is accessible through affordable technology including smartphones allowing more flexibility to work online or offline at lower cost. This allows the transfer of not just a specification, but the data collected on-farm to be downloaded into broker systems. More workshops are planned to be held in WA later this year.