A summit in Wellington on Monday aims to offer innovative solutions for the future of the wool industry.

Hosted by the Ministry for Primary Industries, it will bring together farmers, brokers, scientists, fashion designers and company brands.

Prince Charles, who initiated the global endeavour Campaign for Wool to raise awareness of the benefits of the fibre, has sent a message of support to be read at the event.

In a statement, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said the industry had struggled to achieve unity, a common vision and strategic focus since the deregulation of wool in 1997 and unsuccessful levy referendum in 2014.


At the summit, "key players with experience and influence" would unpick the state of the industry, ask provocative questions and offer innovative solutions, he said.

"The fall of wool came at a time of revenue growth for sheep meat, meaning farmers were focused on sheep and beef production, rather than wool.

"Consumer trends are shaping our markets, with people buying products aligned to their social and environmental values.

"We must make the most of our unique natural advantages to grow value within resource limits," he said.

Federated Farmers meat and wool chairman Miles Anderson said it was hoped the summit would produce some tangible opportunities for collaboration to help move the industry forward.

While pleased that the industry's key stakeholders were gathering, it had to be "more than just another talkfest", he said.

"Wool has gone through enough dips. Let's come up with some concrete actions to reposition wool in its rightful place as the sustainable choice for all consumers," he said.

Fine-wool prices had reached record highs but that accounted for only 8% of production. From January to March, fine-wool export prices were five and a-half times higher than crossbred.


Last year, New Zealand produced 7.5% of the world's wool volume and exports were worth $522 million. Meat and wool exports were worth $9.2 billion.