National Wool Declaration review supports buyer interest

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
The revised National Wool Declaration has retained its ceased mulesed classification as a key element in the collaboration of industry.
Camera IconThe revised National Wool Declaration has retained its ceased mulesed classification as a key element in the collaboration of industry. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

Australia’s voluntary National Wool Declaration, used by wool buyers in their purchasing decisions, has been revised to further ongoing collaboration within industry.

The NWD is a document signed by growers at the time of sale, used to inform exporters, processors and retailers about their clip’s mulesing status, as well as the dark and medullated fibre risk.

Australian Wool Exchange chief executive Mark Grave said the ninth updated National Wool Declaration V9.3, released on March 11, was a result of extensive consultation and feedback from industry.

The approved four key changes to the document included:

Non mulesed (NM) definition refers to the exclusion of liquid nitrogen.

Introduction of liquid nitrogen (LN) for sheep treated with liquid nitrogen.

Liquid nitrogen mobs to be identified separately from non-mulesed, those treated with an analgesic (AA), mulesed sheep (M), and not declared (ND) mobs.

Ceased mulesed (CM) has been retained.

Mr Grave said both questions in the document relating to ceased mulesing status now had a 12-month time frame.

“Non mulesed and liquid nitrogen clips may be eligible for ceased mulesed, where non-mulesed or liquid nitrogen was used on the youngest mobs,” he said.

National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia president Rowan Woods said the finalisation of the latest NWD review had been a collaboration between Australian Wool Exchange, National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia and Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors.

He said the latter two had members required ceased mulesing to be a part of the NWD because they still had that classification of wool in current contracts.

“Retaining ceased mulesing classification was the most important element of the NWD change,” Mr Woods said.

“While we acknowledge that the ‘ceased mulesing’ classification in the document may be numbered as a result of genetic progress and other solutions to stop mulesing, we are currently not in a position yet to be without it.

“It’s an ongoing document and something we should always make better to be more meaningful for our downstream wool customers.

“We need to listen to the people who we sell wool to, who are simply looking after the demand of their clients.”

WAFarmers vice president Steve McGuire said with respect to the trade wanting to look after wool-buying clients, it was hoped the NWD V9.3 would have been more simplified.

“Woolgrowers find the document too complex, which may be why WA lags behind Eastern States growers in its use,” he said.

“I urge WA growers to make use of this new version of the NWD as industry resolves those complexity issues.”

Mr Grave said AWEX appreciated the constructive comments from organisations and individuals.

He said industry stakeholders developing documents or stationary must not change any of the wording or definitions in the National Wool Declaration V9.3.

“This is to ensure consistency of the NWD, to maximise the integrity of all Australian declarations, and to provide our customers with clarity on each NWD category enabling them to make informed purchasing decisions,” Mr Grave said.

“In finalising this NWD review, the AWEX board is announcing that a full review will commence in 2023, for implementation in July 2024.”

Mr Grave said the NWD V9.3 will come into effect on July 25.

“All selling agents are encouraged to adopt early the NWD V9.3 to allow all declarations to be made,” he said.

Mr Grave said all declarations made after July 25 must be made using the NWD V9.3.

To find out more, visit awex.com.au.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails