Ownership of the SustainaWool Integrity Scheme – which highlights ‘sustainable’ practices in the wool industry – has been transferred from New England Wool, Successori Reda and Vitale Barberis Canonico to the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX).

Launched in 2015 in response to demand from consumers and retailers, since its inception over 950 farms have been accredited, making it the largest sustainability scheme in the wool industry worldwide.

“We want to share the opportunities in the scheme with all wool producers and users around the world to help us work and grow together in an increasingly competitive and sustainability conscious landscape,” said Andrew Blanch, Managing Director of New England Wool.

In May of this year, the owners, developers and managers of the SustainaWool Integrity Scheme signed a Memorandum of Understanding to relinquish 100 per cent ownership of the scheme to the fully independent industry body AWEX.

Blanch noted, “New England Wool is a strong advocate for the Australian Wool Exchange National Wool Declaration, which provides information to the Australian auction market from wool growers on the status of chemical use and flystrike prevention strategies on each particular farm.”

AWEX says it has received overwhelming encouragement and support from the wider wool community to provide the Australian wool industry with a single, rigorously audited sustainability scheme which is independently owned and operated.

Mark Grave, CEO of the Australian Wool Exchange, said: “at a special board meeting, we unanimously agreed to complete the transfer of SustainaWool in time for the start of the 2019/20 wool selling season. As an independent industry owned and operated program, AWEX now has the opportunity to make SustainaWool available to all wool users.

“AWEX programs such as the Code of Practice for Wool Preparation and the National Wool Declaration Integrity Program are recognised and respected globally. SustainaWool is an extension of these and we are excited and proud to take this on,” he added.