About Us2019-12-06T15:41:10+11:00

The Story of SustainaWOOL™

In 2015 SustainaWOOL™ was established as a mechanism to educate the wool-consuming-world to understand that its raw material suppliers (wool producers or growers) take the utmost care of their animals, their clip preparation responsibilities, and the environment.

Thrown fleece

 As an independent industry owned and operated program, AWEX now has the opportunity to make SustainaWOOLTM available to all wool users

Mark Grave, AWEX CEO

SustainaWOOL™ builds on the AWEX’s National Wool Declaration (NWD) framework, adding social, environmental, and ethical sustainability dimensions, and has backed these with a rigorous farm auditing process to ensure integrity and trust.

SustainaWOOLTM has 3 key elements:

  1. Voluntary grower self-assessment and declaration, using a comprehensive yet practical form;
  2. Integration of AWEX National Wool Declaration criteria, providing recognition of Ceased- and Non-Mulesed (SustainaWOOLTM Green), and Mulesed with Pain Relief (SustainaWOOLTM Blue);
  3. Mandatory desktop audit, and commitment to be open to random on-farm audit (a subsample of farms are inspected at random) by a trained and experienced AWEX assessor.

20% of SustainaWOOLTM member farms are inspected each year, in addition to the over 200 farm inspections conducted for NWD declarants.

SustainaWOOLTM has grown rapidly to become the world’s largest wool sustainability assurance scheme.  SustainaWOOLTM already has over 1,000 accredited wool grower suppliers, having grown by 50% in the past 2 years.  Over one-third of all accredited SustainaWOOLTM growers produce non-mulesed wool.

Our Integrity System

SustainaWOOLTM – Integrity Scheme

The SustainaWOOLTM Integrity Scheme accreditation provides benchmarks for minimum sustainability standards within the wool production system in Australia and provides integrity and traceability along the pipeline of the production system for wool-consumers.

The Scheme is voluntary for grower participation and monitored closely for ongoing compliance.  It has 3 key elements:

  1. Voluntary grower self-assessment and declaration, using a comprehensive yet practical form;
  2. Mandatory desktop audit, and commitment to be open to random on-farm audit (a subsample of farms are inspected at random) by a trained AWEX assessor, and;
  3. Integration of AWEX National Wool Declaration criteria, providing recognition of Ceased- and Non-Mulesed (SustainaWOOLTM Green), and Mulesed with Pain Relief (SustainaWOOLTM Blue).

The SustainaWOOLTM Integrity Scheme covers 3 key pillars of wool production systems:

  1. Sheep health and wellbeing – SustainaWOOL™ defines minimum acceptable standards for sheep welfare, including that sheep must be non-mulesed or mulesed with pain relief, and growers eligible to take part in the SustainaWOOL™ Integrity Scheme must not have been prosecuted under any of the applicable state Animal Welfare Acts.
  2. Farm Management Practices and Facilities – SustainaWOOLTM defines minimum standards for good farm management practice, work, health and safety, and the standards of facilities through which sheep and wool pass.
  3. Clip Preparation – SustainaWOOLTM sets out requirements for wool preparation by trained and/or shearers, the wool is prepared and compliant with the AWEX Standard: Wool Classer Code of Practice , and that the wool is classed by a registered Professional or Owner wool classer.  The Scheme also requires that all bales be packed within the recognised Australian wool industry’s specified weights and specifications and that only AWEX authorised nylon packs are used, and that supporting wool-production documentation must be available to auditors of the Scheme.
SustainaWOOL<sup>TM</sup> appraiser

Traceability

Transparency and traceability gives organisations throughout the supply chain the confidence in the integrity of fibre delivered to them under this Scheme.

The Scheme provides additional traceability for end-users, in conjunction with the existing systems to trace a bale back to the producer such as the National Wool Declaration, the registered Farm Brand and Stencil, the Classers Specification provided by the grower to their respective broker, and the regulations already in place involved in testing/sampling and displaying (showing) of wool for sale. Countermarking, documentation and various systems in place in the transport, dumping, packing and exporting of the bales allows the integrity of purchased wool to be upheld.

The SustainaWOOL™ Integrity Scheme also allows suppliers to nominate their ability to trace individual animals on their property, demonstrating an even deeper level of care and also a responsibility towards high quality management of their flocks. It is a requirement for accreditation that all sheep on the property be identified with a secure form of individual identification and that mobs are routinely monitored and their location on the farm known and documented.

Electronic unique Bale-ID, through the introduction of a unique RFID & Barcode on each wool pack, provides the ultimate in traceability. This feature will enable the wool bale to be viewed as it progresses through the supply chain from farm to first processor – with absolute confidence.

Accreditation requires a National Wool Declaration (NWD) be completed covering every bale of wool to be offered for sale. This verifies that there is full traceability under the AWEX NWD Scheme for Mulesing Status and Dark and Medulated Fibre.

Our Brands

Are you GREEN?

SustainaWOOL GREEN

The SustainaWOOL Integrity Scheme very clearly identifies those suppliers who do not mules (ceased or never mulesed) as SustainaWOOL GREEN suppliers.

Or BLUE?

SustainaWOOL BLUE

Those that continue to mules but are using a registered (Anaesthetic/Analgesic products) pain relief product are identified as SustainaWOOL BLUE suppliers.  These identify the timing of pain relief operations (pre-operative or post-operative)

Our Growers

Healthy sheep are at the centre of sustainable, profitable wool production – wherever it is grown.

Over 1000 accredited SustainaWOOLTM growers around Australia

There are over 1000 accredited SustainaWOOLTM growers around Australia, and more electing to declare their good stewardship practices every day.

So, if you are not a member,
ask yourself – why not?

For this reason, wool growers who uphold the highest possible standards take care of their animals and the environment, and take pride in the health of their farm and their livestock.

This means that sheep are kept in the best possible heath; that sheep have been given reasonable protection from the effects of disease, pests, predators and that appropriate corrective action is taken if sheep require treatment or relief from pain and suffering.

It also means that the farm environment and the facilities within are carefully maintained, and farm management practices are assessed and benchmarked, so they can be improved.

The SustainaWOOLTM Integrity Scheme allows professional wool producers the opportunity to declare to the world the actions that take place on their properties on a normal day-to-day basis – the actions which allow them to produce a quality product from their valued stock.

Our Supply Chain Partners

The world’s consumers increasingly demand the highest standards of wool production – embodying production ethics, sustainability, traceability and professional clip preparation.

SustainaWOOLTM Supply Chain partners provide the support and leadership required to supply this demand and are the only organisations able to issue SustainaWOOLTM Certification Reports.

SustainaWOOLTM Partnerships are open to wool selling agents, wool exporters and processors, and brand and retail partners.

SustainaWOOLTM Supply Chain Partners include the following leading companies:

A Gift to Industry

Industry ownership and operation

In July 2019 New England Wool and its’ shareholders have gifted the SustainaWOOL™ program to AWEX to ensure the continual growth and international recognition of the scheme for the benefit of the wool supply chain.

…with the wool consumer increasingly demanding a higher level of traceability along the pipeline of the production system from which they buy, SustainaWOOL™ under the guidance of AWEX can now provide the Australian wool industry with a single, reputable and independent scheme to promote the wonderful, high quality, sustainably produced, clean and green fibre – which is Australian wool.

Andrew Blanch, the creator of SustainaWOOL™ and Managing Director of New England Wool

AWEX was the natural answer to our project and the Australian wool producers deserve it. We are very proud that we can provide the wool industry with this gift.

Francesco Botto Poala, COO of Successori Reda

AWEX has received overwhelming encouragement and support from the wider wool community to provide the Australian wool industry with a single, rigorously audited sustainability scheme that is independently owned and operated.

Globally, customers of wool are demanding evidence of sustainability through independent and credible integrity programs.

We have been working hard for four years in order to build the most important integrity scheme in the world. It is an independent powerful system that brings added value, not only to the Australian wool industry, but the whole supply chain. SustainaWOOL™ is indeed one of the strongest support structures for the modern green world.

Alessandro Barberis Canonico, CEO of Vitale Barberis Canonico
Loaded truck

SustainaWOOLTM has become a strong foundation for Australian wool producers to promote their product to the world and gain access to premium markets.

Mark Grave, CEO AWEX said that the textile market is very competitive, and AWEX is aware of the importance of getting this transition right and providing a scheme that caters for the needs of the market now, and into the future.

AWEX programs such as the Code of Practice for Wool Preparation and the National Wool Declaration Integrity Program are recognised and respected globally. SustainaWOOLTM is an extension of these and we are excited and proud to take this on.

Mark Grave, AWEX CEO

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