Industry backs key changes to the latest wool declaration forms

Headshot of Aidan Smith
Aidan SmithCountryman
Merino wool fleece on display.
Camera IconMerino wool fleece on display. Credit: Aidan Smith/Countryman

The wool industry’s peak body WoolProducers Australia has backed the outcome of the latest National Wool Declaration review which will bring about “key changes” to the voluntary declaration on July 1, 2024.

The 2023 review carried out by the Australian Wool Exchange involved extensive consultation and feedback with industry covering a broad list of topics, with “constructive comments and support received by organisations and individuals” which helped shape the outcome.

WPA chief executive Jo Hall said the organisation made a submission during the review process asking for a number for things to be removed from the declaration, including the use of liquid nitrogen and the term “ceased mulesing” because they were not mulesing “as per the definition”.

WoolProducers Australia cheif executive officer Jo Hall.
Camera IconWoolProducers Australia cheif executive Jo Hall. Credit: WoolProducers Australia/WoolProducers Australia

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AWEX has approved key changes to the NWD V10.0, which include the retention of LN, using the current definition.

It has also retained the current definition of CM, with the addition that eligibility for CM was defined within the NWD Definitions/Supporting Explanations as “no lambs born on this property in the last 12 months have been mulesed” and “no mulesed (or Analgesic/Anaesthetic) ewes or wethers have been purchased in the last 12 months”.

“For a property to be eligible for CM status, the answer to both CM property questions must be no,” the AWEX report said.

The definition of non-mulesed has also been changed from “no sheep in this mob have been mulesed or treated with liquid nitrogen” to “sheep in this mob have not been mulesed or treated with liquid nitrogen”.

AWEX said industry stakeholders developing documents or stationery must not change any of the definitions or supporting explanation in the NWD V10.0 to ensure consistency of the NWD and maximise the integrity of all Australian declarations, and to provide customers with clarity on each NWD category enabling them to make informed purchasing decisions.

While the changes don’t come into effect until July, all selling agents have been encouraged to adopt NWD V10.0 as soon as they next print shearing stationery.

Ms Hall said the NWD was a supply chain document and if customers found the terms of value in their purchasing decisions then the industry was “comfortable for it to remain” on the NWD.

“The NWD is voluntary and if we keep changing it growers won’t use it,” she said.

She said the reason WPA asked for the removal of LN from the NWD was because it was hardly used, making up just 0.3 per cent of all declarations.

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