Woolgrowers offering wool without a registered classers stencil are costing themselves serious money. This claim comes from Andrew Blanch, chairman of a wool industry group charged with improving standards, and hence the reputation, of the Australian wool clip. Blanch is worried that some lines of wool are being severely discounted due to the simple fact that the wool is not prepared by a registered wool classer.
"Discounts of 40 to 80 cents per clean kilogram are not uncommon. In many cases, this unfortunate situation is unnecessary and could be easily rectified," Blanch said.
Blanch explains that "this is a consequence of some growers not responding to changes in the International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO) regulations. In the past, IWTO did not distinguish between wool that was prepared to national industry standards (the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Code of Practice) and wool where the preparation failed to meet these standards. There was also no distinction between wool prepared by a registered classer and wool prepared by a non-registered classer."
This changed in January of last year. Since then, IWTO has required that wool classed by a registered classer meeting the clip preparation standards laid down in the AWEX Code of Practice be identified by a "P" suffix in the certificate number. Wool which does not meet these requirements is identified by a "D" suffix in the certificate number.
Price differentials have developed between "P" and "D" certificate wools. Buyers need to assess the element of risk that is associated with lots that they purchase. Some processors restrict their orders to "P" certificate wools only because the standard of preparation behind these lots give a degree of confidence.
Reprinted in part from Federation of Australian Wool Organizations Inc.