WoolProducers welcomes funding for industry leadership

WoolProducers welcomes funding for industry leadership

WoolProducers Australia welcomes the $187,430 grant under the Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund announced today by the Minister for Agriculture the Hon Barnaby Joyce.

 

This announcement represents a positive long term opportunity for the Australian wool industry.

 

Identifying and preparing dynamic future leaders by addressing the representative capacity building gap that currently exists within the industry will result in a robust, innovative and sustainable Australian wool industry.

 

“The WPA Raising the Baa Leadership Programme” will provide an innovative and supportive environment for leaders within the wool industry to continue to develop and refine their leadership skills in order to contribute to building our industry” said WoolProducers CEO Jo Hall.

 

WoolProducers is committed to develop leadership capacity and capability recognising the continuing need for leadership support and mentoring in the agriculture sector. The details around this exciting leadership program will be determined in the coming weeks.

 

WoolProducers looks forward to continuing regular engagement with the Minister in support of the Australian wool industry, and raising the ‘baa’ of leadership within the industry.

 

 

 

 

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Amanda Olthof

Policy Director

0428 910 275



Senate Estimates exposes transparency issues with AWI

Senate Estimates exposes transparency issues with AWI

WoolProducers Australia (WPA) is calling on Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) to improve their governance, including transparency and accountability to woolgrowers.

Following AWI’s appearance at Senate Estimates yesterday a number of issues relating to governance have been left unanswered.

Jo Hall, WPA’s Chief Executive Officer said ‘There were a number of concerning matters raised by the Senators relating to AWI’s processes regarding the director election process from the initial Board Nomination Committee through to the allocation of proxies.’

It was revealed, amongst other things that the Chair receives an enormous amount of proxies and does not have to declare where he allocates undirected proxies.

‘WoolProducers does not believe that there is adequate transparency or accountability in this process and calls on AWI to rectify these issues immediately. Ms Hall said.

The lack of transparency reinforces WPA’s call for arm’s length oversight of AWI and broader industry structural reforms.

‘AWI rejected Senators’ questioning on the oversight issue by saying it was AWI’s job to work in the interests of shareholders, not representative groups.’

‘AWI also say that levy payers have the power to direct the company, however the reality is under the current industry structure, voting in biennial director elections or the triennial WoolPoll are the only meaningful way to direct the company, which is neither agile nor timely enough for woolgrowers paying a compulsory levy’. Ms Hall said.

These latest claims follow the revelations in the February Senate Estimates that AWI had made ex gratia payments to former staff that were well above both the National Employment Standards and the Australian Public Service. These payments were additional to the obligatory accrued leave and notice periods required.

 

‘As an industry owned, grower funded body, if woolgrowers are not happy with how their company is working for them, they must make their views known. Woolgrowers deserve better.’  Ms Hall concluded.

 

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Jo Hall

Chief Executive Officer

0488 554 811


WoolProducers Australia disappointed over wool substitution

WoolProducers Australia disappointed over wool substitution

4 October, 2017

Peak woolgrower representative body WoolProducers Australia (WoolProducers) is disappointed to learn of the recent discovery of wool substitution in a transaction with China.

WoolProducers CEO, Jo Hall said ‘Australian woolgrowers produce the best quality Merino wool in the world but incidents like these are damaging to the integrity of our industry’.

In 2016/17, Australia exported 254mkg of wool to China, representing 79.3% of the Australian wool clip, with a value of $2.4 billion.

‘China is clearly our dominant trade partner and we simply cannot afford to erode any trust or confidence with them, which is why any case of wool substitution is so concerning’. Ms Hall said.

The Australian wool industry has robust processes in place to ensure the quality and integrity of the product to our trade partners.

‘Whilst this incident is completely unacceptable, the fact that it has been uncovered demonstrates that the integrity systems in place for the quality assurance of Australian wool do work’. Ms Hall said.

As this is an active police investigation very little can be said on this specific incident, however WoolProducers are of the firm belief that anybody caught substituting Australian wool has no place in our industry.

‘Substitution of Australian wool jeopardises the excellent reputation that Australian woolgrowers and the wider industry have strived to achieve.’ Ms Hall said.

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Jo Hall

Chief Executive Officer

0488 554 811


WoolProducers Australia questions AWI governance standards

WoolProducers Australia questions AWI governance standards

11 September, 2017

Peak woolgrower representative body WoolProducers Australia (WoolProducers) is still waiting for answers from Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) regarding the revelations of the Chair covertly watching a confidential grower focus group.

The incident, reported by Sheep Central and verified by the stud breeders involved, raises serious concerns around the governance of the industry’s service body, including potential conflict of interest.

WoolProducers President Richard Halliday today said ‘WoolProducers do not believe that it is appropriate conduct for any board chairman to be watching a confidential focus group unannounced – it is unethical.’

The incident occurred in June and there has been at least one AWI Board meeting since that time. WoolProducers are asking if the AWI Board were made formally aware of the incident prior to or at the 1 September, 2017 board meeting?

‘If the AWI Board knew about this before the publication of the article on 6 September, there is an expectation that levy payers would have been informed through a formal statement.’

‘However, if this issue wasn’t raised with the Board by the Chair or CEO, this has implications around if the Board should have been informed before it became public?’ Mr Halliday said.

The only reference provided by AWI, to date was reported on 7 September, stating that it was not unusual for meetings to have observers, indicating that it was not normal practice and that this will not happen in the future.

‘It is not unusual for meetings to have observers, but it is not acceptable to have an observer covertly watching a meeting when participants have been assured of confidentiality. The Chair’s presence was not disclosed to any of the participants, and at the end of the day he chose to remain and observe the meeting behind a mirror.’

‘It’s a given that this should never happen again, but it is unbelievable that it happened in the first place – this statement does not provide any justification or explanation of the Chairs actions.’ Mr Halliday said.

This incident highlights the concerns that WoolProducers have with the current wool industry structure. WoolProducers has long been advocating the need for arms-length industry oversight of AWI, in the interests of all wool levy payers.

As an industry owned organisation, AWI state that wool levy payers have a democratic mechanism to direct the company through director elections and voting on the wool levy.

‘AWI actively promote the ability of levy payers to vote directors off the Board or vote 0% in WoolPoll if they are unhappy with the company or Board’s performance. Neither of these options can be done in a timely fashion, they are reactive and place growers in the untenable position of having to weigh up the value of investment in industry research and development against the performance of the Board.’

‘This essentially means that if levy payers want to make meaningful changes to the Board or levy, the industry must be in crisis so a spill of the Board is called for or growers are forced to vote for no levy.’

WoolProducers is of the firm belief that this is unacceptable for the wool growing industry.

‘Woolgrowers deserve a much better system and this is why WoolProducers will continue to call for structural reform within the wool industry.’ Mr Halliday said.

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Jo Hall

Chief Executive Officer

0488 554 811


Peak Wool Representative Body calls for Nominations for Directors

MEDIA RELEASE

Peak Wool Representative Body calls for Nominations for Directors

11 September, 2017

Nominations are now open for three positions on the Executive of the nation’s peak body for woolgrowers, WoolProducers Australia.

President Richard Halliday said that nominations are now being sought from current woolgrowers who believe that they can contribute to national and international policy development and advocacy on behalf of Australia’s wool producing industry.

“WoolProducers Australia is led by a National Executive of woolgrowers from around Australia, which is predominantly made up of delegates from our state farming organisations members,” said Mr Halliday today.

“However, we also have three independent members that are directly elected by growers, which is very unique to our organisation. Democratically elected independent members give anyone involved with wool growing in Australia the opportunity to be a part of the leadership team.”

The successful candidates will be required to become directors of WoolProducers Australia Ltd as part of the WoolProducers Australia Executive and the positions are for a term of two years.

To be eligible for election to the position of Independent Director on the Executive of WoolProducers Australia, candidates must:

  • Have paid the 2% wool levy at least once during the past three years (since 1 July 2006);
  • Be a member of a state farmer organisation that is affiliated with WoolProducers Australia or a Direct Member of WoolProducers Australia; and
  • Be eligible to act as a company director.

Nominations must be received before 6.00pm on Friday 6 October. Ballot papers will be distributed during October, with the close of voting being COB, Wednesday 8 November. The results will be declared at the 2017 WPA Annual General Meeting in Canberra on 14 November, 2017.

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Jo Hall

Chief Executive Officer

0488 554 811


WoolProducers Australia questions AWI governance standards

WoolProducers Australia questions AWI governance standards

11 September, 2017

Peak woolgrower representative body WoolProducers Australia (WoolProducers) is still waiting for answers from Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) regarding the revelations of the Chair covertly watching a confidential grower focus group.

The incident, reported by Sheep Central and verified by the stud breeders involved, raises serious concerns around the governance of the industry’s service body, including potential conflict of interest.

WoolProducers President Richard Halliday today said ‘WoolProducers do not believe that it is appropriate conduct for any board chairman to be watching a confidential focus group unannounced – it is unethical.’

The incident occurred in June and there has been at least one AWI Board meeting since that time. WoolProducers are asking if the AWI Board were made formally aware of the incident prior to or at the 1 September, 2017 board meeting?

‘If the AWI Board knew about this before the publication of the article on 6 September, there is an expectation that levy payers would have been informed through a formal statement.’

‘However, if this issue wasn’t raised with the Board by the Chair or CEO, this has implications around if the Board should have been informed before it became public?’ Mr Halliday said.

The only reference provided by AWI, to date was reported on 7 September, stating that it was not unusual for meetings to have observers, indicating that it was not normal practice and that this will not happen in the future.

‘It is not unusual for meetings to have observers, but it is not acceptable to have an observer covertly watching a meeting when participants have been assured of confidentiality. The Chair’s presence was not disclosed to any of the participants, and at the end of the day he chose to remain and observe the meeting behind a mirror.’

‘It’s a given that this should never happen again, but it is unbelievable that it happened in the first place – this statement does not provide any justification or explanation of the Chairs actions.’ Mr Halliday said.

This incident highlights the concerns that WoolProducers have with the current wool industry structure. WoolProducers has long been advocating the need for arms-length industry oversight of AWI, in the interests of all wool levy payers.

As an industry owned organisation, AWI state that wool levy payers have a democratic mechanism to direct the company through director elections and voting on the wool levy.

‘AWI actively promote the ability of levy payers to vote directors off the Board or vote 0% in WoolPoll if they are unhappy with the company or Board’s performance. Neither of these options can be done in a timely fashion, they are reactive and place growers in the untenable position of having to weigh up the value of investment in industry research and development against the performance of the Board.’

‘This essentially means that if levy payers want to make meaningful changes to the Board or levy, the industry must be in crisis so a spill of the Board is called for or growers are forced to vote for no levy.’

WoolProducers is of the firm belief that this is unacceptable for the wool growing industry.

‘Woolgrowers deserve a much better system and this is why WoolProducers will continue to call for structural reform within the wool industry.’ Mr Halliday said.

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Jo Hall

Chief Executive Officer

0488 554 811


Peak Wool Representative Body calls for Nominations for Directors

MEDIA RELEASE

Peak Wool Representative Body calls for Nominations for Directors

11 September, 2017

Nominations are now open for three positions on the Executive of the nation’s peak body for woolgrowers, WoolProducers Australia.

President Richard Halliday said that nominations are now being sought from current woolgrowers who believe that they can contribute to national and international policy development and advocacy on behalf of Australia’s wool producing industry.

“WoolProducers Australia is led by a National Executive of woolgrowers from around Australia, which is predominantly made up of delegates from our state farming organisations members,” said Mr Halliday today.

“However, we also have three independent members that are directly elected by growers, which is very unique to our organisation. Democratically elected independent members give anyone involved with wool growing in Australia the opportunity to be a part of the leadership team.”

The successful candidates will be required to become directors of WoolProducers Australia Ltd as part of the WoolProducers Australia Executive and the positions are for a term of two years.

To be eligible for election to the position of Independent Director on the Executive of WoolProducers Australia, candidates must:

  • Have paid the 2% wool levy at least once during the past three years (since 1 July 2006);
  • Be a member of a state farmer organisation that is affiliated with WoolProducers Australia or a Direct Member of WoolProducers Australia; and
  • Be eligible to act as a company director.

Nominations must be received before 6.00pm on Friday 6 October. Ballot papers will be distributed during October, with the close of voting being COB, Wednesday 8 November. The results will be declared at the 2017 WPA Annual General Meeting in Canberra on 14 November, 2017.

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Jo Hall

Chief Executive Officer

0488 554 811


Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA)

Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement

 

The Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (‘the Agreement’ or EADRA) is a unique contractual arrangement signed in 2002 that brings together the Australian, state and territory governments and livestock industry groups to collectively and significantly increase Australia’s capacity to prepare for—and respond to—emergency animal disease (EAD) incursions.

The represented industries and government bodies that form the signatories for the agreement are:

  • Australian Animal Health Council Limited
  • Commonwealth of Australia
  • The State of Queensland
  • The State of New South Wales
  • The State of Victoria
  • The State of South Australia
  • The State of Tasmania
  • The State of Western Australia
  • The Northern Territory of Australia
  • The Australian Capital Territory
  • Australian Chicken Meat Federation Inc.
  • Australian Egg Corporation Limited
  • Australian Dairy Farmers Limited
  • Cattle Council of Australia
  • Australian Pork Limited
  • Sheepmeat Council of Australia Inc.
  • WoolProducers Australia
  • Australian Lot Feeders’ Association Inc.
  • Goat Industry Council of Australia
  • Racing Australia Limited
  • Harness Racing Australia Inc.
  • Australian Horse Industry Council
  • Equestrian Australia Limited

The EADRA is a cost-sharing deed between Government and livestock industries in the even that there were an emergency animal disease outbreak.

“The main benefit of the Agreement is the ability to respond quickly and effectively to an EAD incident while minimising uncertainty over management and funding arrangements.”

For more information, please visit EAD response agreement, or to view the agreement, please click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are 66 diseases organised into 4 categories that fall under the EADRA:

Category 1

These are EADs that predominantly seriously affect human health and/or the environment (depletion of native fauna) but may only have minimal direct consequences to the livestock industries.

Category 2

These are EADs that have the potential to cause major national socio-economic consequences through very serious international trade losses, national market disruptions and very severe production losses in the livestock industries that are involved. This category includes diseases that may have a slightly lower national socio-economic consequences, but also have significant public health and/or environmental consequences.

Category 3

These are EADs that have the potential to cause significant (but generally moderate) national socio-economic consequences through international trade losses, market disruptions involving two or more states and severe production losses to affected industries, but have minimal or no effect on human health or the environment.

Category 4

These are EADs that could be classified as being mainly production loss diseases. While there may be international trade losses and local market disruptions, these would not be of a magnitude that would be expected to significantly affect the national economy. The main beneficiaries of a successful emergency response to an outbreak of such a disease would be the affected livestock industry(s).

The EADs which have been categorised (classified) as at the Commencement Date are as follows:

Category 1

  • Australian bat lyssavirus
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Nipah virus
  • rabies
  • Western, Eastern and Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis

Category 2

  • avian influenza (highly pathogenic; virus subtypes H5 and H7)
  • bovine spongiform encephalopathy
  • brucellosis (due to Brucella abortus)
  • brucellosis (due to Brucella melitensis)
  • foot-and-mouth disease
  • glanders
  • Hendra virus
  • peste des petits ruminants
  • Rift Valley fever
  • rinderpest
  • screw worm fly
  • sheep and goat pox
  • vesicular stomatitis

Category 3

  • African horse sickness
  • African swine fever
  • anthrax (major outbreaks)
  • avian influenza (highly pathogenic; other than virus subtypes H5 and H7)
  • avian influenza (low pathogenic; virus subtypes H5 and H7)
  • bluetongue
  • classical swine fever
  • contagious bovine pleuropneumonia
  • encephalitides (tick-borne)
  • lumpy skin disease
  • Menangle virus (porcine paramyxovirus)
  • Newcastle disease
  • scrapie
  • swine vesicular disease
  • trichinellosis
  • vesicular exanthema

Category 4

  • Aujeszky’s disease
  • Borna disease
  • bovine tuberculosis due to Mycobacterium bovis
  • contagious equine metritis
  • dourine
  • east coast fever
  • epizootic lymphangitis
  • equine babesiosis
  • equine encephalosis
  • equine influenza
  • Getah virus
  • haemorrhagic septicaemia
  • heartwater
  • infectious bursal disease (hypervirulent form)
  • Jembrana disease
  • maedi-visna
  • Nairobi sheep disease
  • porcine epidemic diarrhoea
  • porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS)
  • Potomac fever
  • pulmonary adenomatosis
  • sheep scab
  • surra
  • swine influenza
  • Teschen disease
  • transmissible gastroenteritis
  • Wesselsbron disease

Under EADRA sheep are susceptible carrying and transmitting the following diseases:

  • foot-and-mouth disease
  • rinderpest
  • swine vesicular disease
  • vesicular exanthema
  • vesicular stomatitis*
  • anthrax (major outbreaks)
  • bluetongue
  • heartwater
  • Rift Valley fever
  • screw worm fly
  • brucellosis (due to Brucella melitensis)
  • encephalitides (tick-borne)
  • maedi-visna
  • Nairobi sheep disease
  • peste des petits ruminants
  • pulmonary adenomatosis
  • scrapie
  • sheep and goat pox
  • sheep scab
  • Wesselsbron disease

Nanjing Wool Market Conference: Volatility will continue to feature in the wool market

WoolProducers Australia were represented by President Ed Storey and CEO Jo Hall at this year’s 31 Nanjing Wool Market Conference (NWMC), held in Qufu, China on 21 and 22 September. Macro market trends, the US-China trade war, Brexit and a downward economic trend in Europe were key discussion factors relative to a loss of market confidence.

Read More

Victorian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – Draft Regulations 2019

WoolProducers seeks the regulation regarding fleece length be consistent with that of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines (AAWSG), supports the proposed regulation mandating pain relief for mulesing sheep, and opposes the proposed definition of mulesing and advocates that the definition for mulesing be consistent with that of the AAWSG. WoolProducers also supports the submission of the Victorian Farmers' Federation.

Read More

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Australian Animal Welfare Standards & Guidelines

Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines

In terms of animal welfare, each state is governed under its own Act, as follows:

State Animal Welfare Act 
ACT Animal Welfare Act 1992
NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979
NT Animal Welfare Act
Qld Animal Care and Protection Act 2001
SA Animal Welfare Act 1985
Tas Animal Welfare Act 1993
Vic Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986
WA Animal Welfare Act 2002

For further detail visit: Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

 

 

Standards & Guidelines

From the Australian Government: Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines

The states and territories are working to develop and implement nationally consistent animal welfare standards and guidelines.

Standards and guidelines for sheep, cattle, poultry, exhibited animals and for livestock at saleyards and depots are at various stages of development. Industry and community stakeholders are directly involved in the development process.

Standards and guidelines in development

Sheep

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep are being developed using the principles described in the Standards and Guidelines Development Business Plan and are being drafted by a writing group with representatives from the:

  • state and territory governments
  • Sheepmeat Council of Australia and WoolProducers
  • CSIRO
  • Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

The group has an independent Chair, and is managed by Animal Health Australia.

See the Animal Welfare Standards website for more information.

Current standards and guidelines

Land transport of livestock

Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Land Transport of Livestock were developed using the Standards and Guidelines Development Business Plan, and the process was managed by Animal Health Australia.

The Standards were developed from seven Model Codes of Practice and provisions on livestock transport appearing in 13 other codes. They were endorsed by the former Standing Council on Primary Industries in May 2009 and are currently being implemented by the states and territories.

They cover the transport of livestock by road or rail. From an animal welfare perspective, this commences at the time that animals are first deprived of feed and water prior to loading, to the time that livestock have access to water (with the exception of day–old chicks and poultry sent for processing) at the completion of the journey (destination), and includes:

  • mustering and assembly
  • handling and waiting periods prior to loading
  • loading, journey duration, travel conditions, spelling periods
  • unloading and holding time.

The Standards apply to all people responsible for the care and management of livestock involved in the transport of livestock, including agents, transport operators, people on farms, at depots, saleyards, feedlots and processing plants. The Standards apply to the major commercial livestock species:

  • cattle
  • sheep
  • pigs
  • goats
  • poultry (broilers, layers, turkeys, ducks, geese)
  • ratites (emus and ostrich)
  • buffalo
  • deer
  • camels
  • alpacas and
  • horses (including horses used for sport and recreation).

See the Animal Welfare Standards website or the Animal Health Australia website for more information.

 

Nanjing Wool Market Conference: Volatility will continue to feature in the wool market

WoolProducers Australia were represented by President Ed Storey and CEO Jo Hall at this year’s 31 Nanjing Wool Market Conference (NWMC), held in Qufu, China on 21 and 22 September. Macro market trends, the US-China trade war, Brexit and a downward economic trend in Europe were key discussion factors relative to a loss of market confidence.

Read More

Victorian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – Draft Regulations 2019

WoolProducers seeks the regulation regarding fleece length be consistent with that of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines (AAWSG), supports the proposed regulation mandating pain relief for mulesing sheep, and opposes the proposed definition of mulesing and advocates that the definition for mulesing be consistent with that of the AAWSG. WoolProducers also supports the submission of the Victorian Farmers' Federation.

Read More

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