Shifting half of New Zealand’s crossbred wool clip to higher value fine wool contracts could boost the economy by about $2 billion, says NZ Merino Company (NZM) chief executive John Brakenridge.
“As an international sales and marketing company, being able to prove the country of origin for wool products is critical to protecting our brands and maintaining integrity throughout the supply chain with our brand partners,” says Mark Shadbolt, chairman of WNZ said.
“WNZ required a robust scientific solution to verify the country of origin of our wool throughout all stages of the supply chain. At present we rely on traditional paper trails.”
The Oritain system uses science to trace a product back to its geographical origin by collecting and analysing a large number of samples to determine the unique fingerprint of the product, in WNZ’s case wool. The fingerprint is stored in a database which can be assessed against finished product samples to check their authenticity.
“Oritain’s technology is ideally suited for companies looking to protect their brand value and integrity,” says Oritain chief executive Grant Cochrane. “Companies using our services are also better placed to add value for their suppliers and brand partners in the market.”
He says the origin fingerprint couldn’t be manipulated without detection, so it provides WNZ and other Oritain customers with a robust means of verifying whether a product with their brand on it is genuine.
Shadbolt says NZ strong wool is recognised as the best wool in the world for interior textiles. “As wool moved through the international supply chain, there was scope to dilute quality and integrity by blending wool of other origins, notwithstanding that wools of various origins are often blended to meet particular end use specifications. We need to know when this is happening as it can undermine quality and affect our suppliers’ and customers’ integrity.”
Shadbolt says the fact that WNZ would be the first in the world able to test products and prove wool origin using Oritain’s technology would give extra confidence to buyers sourcing their wool through WNZ.
“WNZ is a market-driven company and our international customers want assurance they are getting what they’re paying for.
“This further differentiates our product, while ensuring the supply of genuine NZ wool blends, resulting in greater consistency and customer loyalty,” he says.
This technology strengthens the provenance marketing strategy WNZ is pursuing through its brands, particularly Laneve, which is underpinned by traceability and integrity of supply, Shadbolt says.