Grant for wool supply chain

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.
Camera IconAgriculture Minister David Littleproud. Credit: Tori O'Connor/Kalgoorlie Miner, Tori O'Connor Picture: Tori O'Connor

The Federal Government has awarded the Australian Wool Exchange $180,000 to improve traceability in the Australian wool industry supply chain.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the grant, as part of the Government’s commitment to advancing traceability in agriculture, would help streamline information in the wool supply chain.

“This funding will go towards a trial application of e-Bale, which is a way of uniquely identifying each wool bale through radio-frequency identification and QR codes,” he said.

“The application will work in tandem with the WoolClip system, which will capture the identity of each wool bale as it moves from farm to store to mill.

Mr Littleproud said the aim was to focus on filling the information gaps in the supply chain.

“When combined with the National Wool Declaration for mulesing status, and the SustainaWOOL Integrity Scheme, it will make it easier for buyers and consumers to know they are buying a quality, sustainable product,” he said.

“This will also enhance Australia’s reputation as a responsive and responsible supplier of wool to the international market.”

AWEX chief executive Mark Grave.
Camera IconAWEX chief executive Mark Grave. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman, Bob Garnant

AWEX chief executive Mark Grave said the grant was an opportunity to improve on-farm data capture.

“If this trial is successful, we should see better information flow from farm to mill, and hopefully less logistical errors in the system as we move towards more automation,” he said.

“This will also improve supply chain traceability and enable the rapid identification of wool bales, which can have a number of uses, including during a disease outbreak.”

AWEX’s eBale project has been conducted with the direct involvement of wool pack manufacturers, an radio-frequency identification tag supplier, growers, classers, warehouses, brokers, exporters and overseas processors.

eBale utilises RFID and QR Code technology giving each wool bale a unique number which is captured in-shed using AWEX’s WoolClip software.

Mr Grave said the combination of eBale and WoolClip creates a conduit between the wool shed and the grower’s selling agent of choice.

“AWEX registers wool pack manufacturers, importers and wool classers, monitoring their performance against the Australian standards,” he said.

“AWEX also manages the NWD and its Integrity Program on behalf of the Australian wool industry to build pipeline and consumer confidence in Australian wool.

“These base elements are integral to wool’s provenance and integrity story.”

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