Wools of New Zealand has raised its minimum threshold of $5 million to proceed with setting up a fully grower-owned sales and marketing company for strong wool.
Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre chairwoman Jeanette Maxwell said meeting the threshold was an important step. "This is wonderful news for an industry which once formed the backbone of the New Zealand economy," she said.
"Raising the required minimum of $5 million means Wools of New Zealand can fully engage in its projects and business to take this new company forward for the betterment of those farmers who have invested in their future.
"There is still some time for farmers who have not signed up to Wools of New Zealand's share offer to get involved and invest in their industry. This $5 million gets Wools of New Zealand over the line to start up its company, but it had hoped for $10 million to give it the best possible start.
"Just under a week out from the February 25 deadline, we are only halfway towards achieving that goal. This is why Federated Farmers is calling on those remaining farmers who are sitting on the fence or simply have not considered this opportunity to throw their support behind this scheme.
"This is possibly the last opportunity for the strong-wool industry to do something positive to help itself.
"In order to survive in today's fast-moving global economy, industries need to have strong brand identities. This is what Wools of New Zealand plans to develop, while also building on existing market connections.
"I am sure the farmer shareholders, of which I am proudly one, will see a huge amount of benefit as Wools of New Zealand grows demand for New Zealand's strong-wool textiles and carpets."
In Hawke's Bay this week were Wools of New Zealand clients from UK's Camira Fabrics, who visited wool-processing facilities and Glenross Station. Camira's John Quarmby said the visit would help market the Kiwi product, which he said was a superior fibre: "It's got a nice feel, it's strong and hard-wearing - it's a good product."