In November wool-growers will vote on a proposed merger between grower-owned export and marketing company Wools of New Zealand (WNZ) and Primary Wool Co-operative to form a fully integrated supply chain business.
Ahead of the vote, Primary Wool Co-operative will become the 100% owner of CP Wool with the purchase of Carrfields Ltd’s 50% shareholding.
Carrfields Ltd will turn its focus to specialist manufacturing of wool and hemp products through its majority ownership of the NZ Natural Fibres business alongside Hemp New Zealand and other minority shareholders.
“These strategic moves are the outcome of year-long talks between Carrfields Ltd, Primary Wool Co-operative and WNZ, which collectively handle 37% of New Zealand’s wool clip,” says James Parsons, chair of WNZ.
“Growers have been asking for consolidation and now they will get the chance to have their say. Together, we can deliver the vision and scale required to make a real difference to New Zealand’s struggling wool industry.”
Richard Young, chair of Primary Wool Co-operative and director of CP Wool, says the proposed merger marks the start of an exciting chapter for the wool sector and will act as a launch-pad for New Zealand to truly realise the full potential of wool.
“This proposed combined business will enable both businesses to realise their potential as a single grower-owned entity,” Young says.
“For CP Wool suppliers, it will be the link to greater customer intimacy via the Wools of NZ market-focused strategy. For Wools of NZ growers, CP Wool will bring the engine with its large bale numbers and network of stores that allows that strategy to come to life.
Craig Carr, managing director of Carrfields and chairman of CP Wool, says the wool industry needs leadership, investment and a strategic focus to deliver better outcomes for long term participants.
“In the current fast moving environment, we want to ratchet up our activity through NZ Natural Fibres and we have a number of exciting opportunities in front of us.”
He says Carrfields will continue working with its international brand partners in it drive to develop new markets for wool.