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As in any agricultural practice, the merino wool production process is more complex than those not directly involved in the industry realize. Modern market demands, pricing fluctuation and weather are just a few of the dynamics that have put an end to the more serene days of a herder tending to his flock in pastoral settings. Additionally, increasing sustainability and ethical market forces have placed more specific demands on the evolving practice. Today’s merino wool grower has to be much savvier, in business, technology and market trends than most people suspect.
To highlight the modern day merino wool grower, The Merino Company (TMC) held an essay contest among its growers with winning entries awarded an all-expense paid trip to the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show this August in Salt Lake City, Utah. Today, TMC is happy to announce thatâ€¦we have a winner (two actually).
TMC congratulates James and Helen Kirkpatrick, and Nicholas van der Merwe as the winners to TMC’s 2008 Woolgrowers Ambassador Competition for the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 8-11th, 2008.
The competition was open to all contracted TMC merino woolgrowers and designed to draw out professionals in wool farming who best exemplify a balance of growing knowledge and business savvy in the global woolen markets. The winners were chosen based upon several criteria such as a solid foundation of experience and dedication, an understanding and adherence to sustainable environmental management and production, knowledge of breeding superior wool, attention to the evolving markets, as well as an interest in retail and brand customer views, needs and wants.
The Kirkpatricks reside in Beaufort, Western Victoria, Australia, where they’ve been producing wool for decades, drawing on myriad experience within the industry. Matched with deft business knowledge, the Kirkpatricks are intimately familiar with every event along the supply chain. Mr. van der Merwe is a 5th generation farmer from Colesberg, South Africaâ€”a precocious 25-year-oldâ€”and a champion for sustainable profitability, who has kept a close eye on current and expected trends while simultaneously managing the environment with care and consideration.
Each winner receives a pair of return plane tickets to the US, four star accommodations for a week, and passes to Outdoor Retailer’s Summer Market this coming August, where they will be present at the TMC booth to provide understanding on ethical management and production, sustainable environments, and what is necessary to produce superior wool. They will also meet with customers to better learn their needs for innovative wool products. Additionally, they will be given a tour of operations of a major retail brand and processor of wool products.
Stop by TMC’s OR booth, meet the winners and learn a thing or two about the merino wool growing process.
About The Merino Company (TMC)
Based in Melbourne, Australia, TMC creates tailored, innovative and unique marketing and product solutions for leading retailers and apparel brands globally. TMC’s unique business model provides a clear channel of communication to be opened between retail brands and wool growers as well as complete transparency, integrity and accountability in the value chain.
S2S Strategy: TMC has a unique relationship with leading wool growers from the Eastern and Western Sea-boards of Australia, Tasmania and South Africa and can provide it’s customers with a traceable and certified wool solution, literally from S2S.