When New Zealand’s Agriculture, Biosecurity and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor met with his new Australian counterpart yesterday, the subject of biosecurity was top of their agenda.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will contribute $1.9 million towards Bremworth's $4.9 million sustainability project through its Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) fund.
Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor says the programme will involve research and development of natural and green chemistry-based alternatives to the few remaining synthetic components of woollen carpets.
O'Connor says that a rise in synthetic carpets has severely affected the wool industry.
"I'm told that an average Kiwi household laid with synthetic carpet is expected to have the equivalent weight of 22,000 plastic shopping bags on its floor. That's a compelling reason to use sustainable wool wherever we can to make healthy homes for Kiwis and the world.
"More than ever consumers are considering the entire life-cycle of products. We believe this programme will spur demand for New Zealand strong wool and enhance our manufacturing competitiveness through strong environmental credentials that challenge industry norms."
He says that revitalising the strong wool sector is a key component of delivering the Government's Fit for a Better World roadmap, released in 2020.
"Ultimately we hope it will benefit New Zealand's strong wool sector, with better returns for our farmers and manufacturers, and supporting their communities.
"If we get this right, then that's a compelling yarn we can sell to our markets abroad," O'Connor says.