IWTO Calls for Unity
August 5, 2005
August 5, 2005 -- The International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO) has warned that unless money is spent on marketing, the industry will fail and many companies will depart in search of better opportunities elsewhere, reported The Wool Record Weekly.
?The call for action has been well received so far and progress has been made,? says Michael Lempriere, IWTO president. ?This needs to be consolidated and, following successful implementation of the marketing test, the industry needs to act further. This means the development of a global, coordinated marketing campaign?to coordinate the marketing, research and development efforts of the wool industry worldwide.?
Lempriere?s tour of national committees followed endorsement at the IWTO?s Congress in Hobart of a call by an Apparel Taskforce for a united drive to lift consumer desire for wool products. Taskforce chairman Jo Dawson warns that the world has started to forget about wool, which is in danger of becoming a cottage industry.
The IWTO needs to raise US$4 million to complement US$5 million pledged by Australian Wool Innovation and US$1 million from The Woolmark Company, which will carry out the marketing test.
Lempriere says, ?The cost of this marketing can only be seen as an investment in the future survival of the industry.?
So far Australia, South Africa, Argentina and Uruguay have all said they will contribute funding, subject to working out how they will implement the IWTO?s contributions formula. The Wool Record understands that Germany, Turkey, France and the United Kingdom intend to contribute; the Italian response is being discussed. Industry bodies in China and New Zealand have declined to take part.
?The American Sheep Industry Association?s (ASI) executive board has recommended that ASI fund the raw wool portion of the U.S. contribution,? commented Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI deputy director of operations and wool marketing director.
Staff contact: Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ext. 29