Victorian Wool Processors. "On Bending the Truth " October 2016.

 How boring and predictable these contamination  reminders are, we used to see them once a year now it's every six months, last one April 22nd 2016. 

  Wool Classers on an industry tour of  Victorian Wool Processors, in October 2016 were subjected to the usual diatribe of alleged foreign objects, allegedly found in a bales of wool after scouring, usually a few days before their visit, It was nylon wool pack material this time. Then to be told rather sanctimoniously if they had been there then, " they may have found themselves put to work, re-picking bales searching for bits of nylon", evidently the alleged contamination.

  Then talk of someone somewhere being lazy.

  I think Victorian Wool Processors are lazy for not employing any Wool Classers to check the wool into the infeed of the scour or carboniser, which besides foreign objects would also pickup any changes in micron, vegetable matter and stain.

  In our experience one to three per cent of bales brought to the scour infeed are wrong, for a multitude of reasons. If you don't check them you will never know, except with major contamination. 

   Why are these alleged happenings always in top quality wools, this time 17.5 micron lambs wool. Never in stain crutchings or carbonising bellies?  

   We don't believe Victorian Wool Processors has ever scoured a 17.5 micron lambs wool line.

   Mr David Ritchie, general manager of V.W.P. said " the company had never filed a claim against a grower."  Of course not, and they never can while they don't know which particular bale the contamination came out of. If he knew what bale the contamination was in, it would obviously have been removed, at the infeed to the scour, but as the wool is tipped straight in with a forklift it is impossible to ever know.

A bit of quality control by everyone in the wool industry would be good. Any thing can be alleged in the Wool Industry, and told convincingly to those unfamiliar with wool classing.  

P.E.T.A. Wool : Claims of Victory. - More Bulltish.

 Peta in early December 2016 claimed a victory in their endeavours to again discredit the Australian wool industry, telling us about an unnamed shearer found guilty, without conviction. This whole story is built on lies. There are just so many unanswered questions.

   What was the alleged shearers name?

   Why is it a secret?

   What was the propertys name where the alleged shearing took place?

   Why were the alleged shearers faces pixilated in the video?

   Was the alleged shearer really in this video?

   Did the alleged magistrate see an unpixilated version?  

   Why did the alleged shearer plead guilty?

   Was he paid a nice retirement bonus at allegedly 60 years of age, out of Petas US$44,923,150 annual tax-exempt revenue in 2015, as mentioned in their financial statement.

    Originally when Jason Baker, Peta spokesman brought Petas videos to Australia, all filmed on film sets. See inside of large white marquee, top left hand corner of screen behind catching pens in one  of the film clips ( appears to have been removed from film since we mentioned it )which makes it obvious.

    He claimed that the video was filmed in 19 shearing sheds, in three Australian states, and there were 235 incidents of cruelty in those sheds.  Jason Baker and other Peta staff were and have been repeatedly asked to name one, or any of those shearing sheds, we have heard nothing as they don't exist.

     In their latest news release the 235 incidents are now all in Victoria how can that be? only because it is all lies.

      Jason proved he had never been in an Australian shearing shed with his terminology.

       It is evidently fairly easy to pull the wool over the Courts eyes in cases involving the Wool Industry, in this instance, and in Federal Courts, see B.W.K.- Elders Australia P/L. V  Westgate Wool Company P/L, as told in "The Wool Sting ", is another one.

   How people can donate to  Peta is beyond me. There must be a lot of dills in the world.


Australian Wool Innovation.Has Some Brilliant Staff !!

  Not brilliant for what they actually produce, but brilliant for being able to get paid by A.W.I. for some of the rubbish they have produced and given to us. --In no particular order.

  1.  In November 2014, was this gem." If every shearer could shear one more sheep per day, it would save the wool industry approximately $ 980,000  per year. " I reckon for someone to come up with this, and get paid for it is amazing.

   2.   In October 2015, in a collaboration, The Nanshen Group, and A.W.I. announced a new fabric, Neulana, which was to have cashmere like handle and a silk like sheen.

    Why bother, Neulana would never have the appeal of Cashmere or Mohair, and it is all being done already, Wool, by being sold as Cashmere and Mohair, saves all the advertising of a new fabric which would only sound like another synthetic material anyway. Just ask the eyeties, they and others have been doing it for many years. Another waste of money by A.W.I.

   Neither of the above instances would have wasted large amounts of money, but were still waste.

  3.    The Wool Selling System Review, set up about two years ago to save money from the " sheeps back to ship ". Blind Fredie on a galloping horse , could have seen it was always going to be a complete and massive waste of time and money. But some brilliant people at Australian Wool Innovation, went ahead with it anyway. As predicted it accomplished nothing.

   But it is not finished yet, it morphed into the Wool Exchange Portal investigation which is still going on. Which the most important people in the industry, the Wool Buyers, don't want, but it is keeping a lot of staff employed, they must be very clever. As of November 2016 results due out soon. We are not optermistic of anything useful to come of it.

   Late November, more delays more planning about another four months? .

A.B.C. Landline. Wool story on 25th September 2016.

  Segment regarding the never ending saga of encouraging wool growers to keep producing top quality wool, is just another chapter in keeping the buying cost of wool down for mill owners.

   This latest scheme is a very clever campaign to offer more to some, to keep everyone interested, and create the impression of how benevolent Vitale Barberis Canonico with Reda and 21 other alleged  associate mill owners are. While keeping the price of the best wool in the world relatively cheap for them.

    1/ There is no need to waste time and paper to produce these contracts.   

     2/ There is no law or regulation saying that you can only bid one minimum bid over the second last bid at a wool auction.

      3/ If  V.B.C., Reda and their associates were really fair dinkum , they would just jump in at the wool auction and bid, say  500 cents  per kg or whatever over anyone else. 

      4/ No need for this type of advertising stunt.

      5/ After all 1,000's of bales of superfine wool are blended into Cashmere and Mohair of similar quality every year, and when sold as such, is worth ten to twelve times more than the wool.

       6/ Someone has to pay for the Mega Yachts floating around in the Mediterranean Sea.


Textile Exchange. Something not quite right with their Responsibile Wool Standard, quality assurance scheme.

    Textile Exchange have many other so called responsible standards besides wool. Recycled, down (feathers), organic, content and others. Not of concern here, all though.

    Content claim standard, does not limit which type of input material may be claimed, and therefore has broad application. --Sounds dubious.

    There have been so many similar schemes in the past, Clipcare , Dalcare, Fibre Direct, ISO 000 whatever, Elders in their Wool Selling System Review submission mentioned fourteen wool trading, selling, processing alternatives, all devised and promoted by them, all failures.

     Textile Exchange believes it is likely the first R W S wool will come from either South Africa, South America or New Zealand. Why begin in such back waters, when only 1% of world textiles is wool.

       R W S technical committee member Stuart Adams said " about FIVE Australian wool growers and grower groups were undergoing R W S  certification ". Really, that many.

      Stuart Adams also claims, " There are numerous growers in other countries that have been audited and are completing the process for certification "

       Textile Exchange claims to be a non profit organisation, does that mean they spend all excess income on bonuses .              search    IOAS  Fee Schedule 2016.

       Seems like a waste of money to me.

Australian Wool Innovations, A Look at Draft of Strategic Plan.

   The draft version of A.W.I.s 2016 - 2019 strategic plan looks great, with 112 pages, must have cost plenty. The final version could finish up as long as " War and Peace". But still prove as useless as the other almost countless other reports over the years. There were at least 55 reports between the Philip report in 1962 and 1999, and many more since.

    The most repedative line in the draft version, seems like every few pages is "Increase the profitability and sustainability of woolgrowing". Very commendable, also getting a mention several times, is " more highly trained shearers and wool handlers" and " Encouraging the next generation of the wool industry participants is critical to the prosperity of the Australian wool industry".

     Not very commendable,

     Not a word of consideration for the profitability and sustainability of shed staff, they are evidently just a pool of labour, semi slaves, who can be called on any time when needed. Who can then try and get unemployment benifits for most of the year.

     The Australian Wool Exchange, the registrar of Wool Classers, claimed in January 2015, 19,200 registered Wool Classers of all categories. One for every 88 bales of classed wool per year, or about four days work in a four stand shearing shed. On A.W.E.X.s own figures, Australia's current 180 Master Classers the " best of the best" class on average 1,322 bales per year. About 13 weeks work.

       I would like to see Australian Wool Innovation telling the next generation the truth about the lack of any employment security in the wool industry .


Open Universities Australia : Wool Classer Advice Ridiculous And Shonky.

      See next blog below.

Wool Classer: Career Advice From Open Universities A Joke.

   It has come to my attention what is the biggest load of crap I have seen on the Wool Industry since B.W.K.- Elders Australia P/L   V  Westgate Wool Company P/L [ 2004]. FCA 962      

    It is on a par with PETA's efforts over the last couple of years, but not as serious as the above.

    Open Universities Australia, has a page on their website under Career Advice, which says.

   Wool Classer.

                           Quick Summary.   ( their words)

Starting salary.$36,000 P/A

Senior salary, $62,500 P/A

Average salary, $50,000 P/A. 

Employment levels 16,600 as of November 2012.

( Projected 16,600 in 2017)

Average weekly hours worked for a full time Wool Classer is 39.3 hours.

The three top regions for employment as a Wool Classer include.

              Qld 29.3 %

              N.S.W. 23.7 %

                 Vic 21.7%

               ( end of summary)

   It is dishonest to deliberately mislead prospective students with lies to entice them into any occupation. Who are the Clowns who wrote the above for Open Universities Australia. I hope none of the prospective students fall for this rubbish, I doubt if many would, but just in case a few may be considering Wool Classing as an occupation, I will debunk some of the most obvious lies.

    1 :   16,600 Wool Classers on an average salary of $50,000. P/A  = $830.000,000. In 2012 , This is about 30% of the annual value of the entire Australian wool clip. I don't think Wool Growers would be too keen on that.

     2 :   4,864  of those Wool Classers, Open Universities Australia alleges are in Queensland. Latest figures indicate there are only 1,820,000. sheep in Queensland, 374 sheep or 11 bales of wool for each Wool Classer. How stupid is that.

      3 :    On the advice from Open Universities Australia, a full time Wool Classer works 39.3 hours per week.   We take full time to mean all year. In 2012. To earn the average of $ 50,000. This is  rubbish. The  Registrar of Wool Classers. The Australian Wool Exchange, who have a category of Master Wool Classers. About 180 in total, " the best of the best". On their own figures they only work about 13 weeks per year and class 1,300 bales each on average.

     How can Open Universities Australia get away with printing such shonky figures. How many of their other  Career Advice, Quick Summmaries are just as ridiculous, surely this is not the only one.

     I would bet there are more Farriers earning a full time living in Austalia than Wool Classers.

          If there are 50 Wool Classers in Australia earning $50,000. P/A I will walk to Bourke.

                               If you have any questions or comments please contact.



Australian Wool Exchange, Wool Forum,Stir the Wool Classer Day.

 This annual event held on 16th  April 2016 in Bendigo was the same old tired regurgitated stories as usual, with the usual slight variations.

 Victorian Wool Processors general manager David Richie, won the honour of trying to sell this scare campaign this year. Three out of his four points don't jell with me.

 1/ Mr Richie is quoted saying, " foreign matter levels in oddments were generally improving, but nylon, rag and skin contamination were still big problems." Then he continues, " probably one out of every 20,000 bales you would find something coming through." He should be over the Moon with one in 20,000 bales. I would expect something, in one in a 100 bales, not counting the hundreds of bale fastners that sink to the bottom of the first and second bowls every week, but cause no further trouble.

 2/ As usual there was a piece of metal / tool run out for inspection, damage always exaggerated, breaking a few spikes off the opening rollers is no big deal, stop the line, turn the rollers backwards, couple of minutes, continue minus a few spikes till the next maintenance period.

 3/ Mr Richie says, "  The incidence of bales being used as bale dividers was not improving."  How do you use bales as a bale divider, maybe a wool pack or part of. Anyway bales with dividers go to bulk classing. Why would a mixed bale be going into any line you were treating. If it was seen, why wasn't it pulled out. If it wasn't seen how would Mr Richie know it was a divider.

 4/ I agree with Mr Richie that skin pieces are probably less as sheep get plainer in the skin. But all buyers must always have something to whinge about.

     It evidently costs, getting close to $3.00 per kg. to scour or carbonise in Mr Richie's plant. But not one cent is spent employing a Wool Classer to check the wool into the infeed hopper, which would prevent rags, towels, clothing, tools etc. going into the washing process. It wouldn't stop bale fastners as mentioned earlier. Accidents do happen everywhere, and I've known plenty, God knows how many unknown ones.

     When scours and carbonising plants used to employ a Wool Classer and foreign objects were found, no complaints were made," it's not worth the trouble." Today no one can complain directly to the grower because even when an object is found, it cannot be known which bale it came out of, as they are all emptied out with a forklift. Even forgeting the foreign objects, carding bales often change four or five microns from one end to the other with mixed breed clips. This adds to the fact it is not a quality job by any standard.

Article on Bernie Duggan's sale of his wool clip.

   The article in Weekly Times 20 April 2016, is very timely in relation to my previous blog.

   Bernie is quoted as being," Surprised at the amount of vegetable matter in the wool as there was not a lot on the ground."   I would suggest that he was really surprised at the v.m. result as printed on the test certificate and in the catalogue, where it is taken as gospel by most people.                          

    The lottery continues, Bernie's property at Balmoral might be 120 kilometres approx.from Coolana where they also got terrible v.m. results, so the problem is wide spread. 

   This is just another example where a more modern measuring system is needed. As also mentioned in Charles Massy's  book " Breaking the Sheep's Back."



Australian Wool Testing Authority. Time For A Modern Accurate Way Of Measuring Wool.

     After 40 years it is time for a consistent way of measuring the chacteristics of wool. The current method has always been a lottery. Especially with micron, yield and vegtable matter.(vm) The main price determinants of wool.

    No lot of wool tested twice has ever come up with same results both times, that is the same wool tested twice with different brands. Hundreds of thousands of lots have been retested and confirmed, that means close enough. Micron 0.4 either side of the original is deemed satisfactory, yield and vm, have various margins for error. It doesn't matter much to the buyer as it all averages out for them, and no batch ever comes out spot on.

    Historically when wool was sold subjectively, Wool Buyers had to be highly skilled in judgeing micron, yield and vm, and style was important .Growers now get nothing for style. Anyone can buy wool off the objective results, quite often micron can be out by 1.0 to 2.0 microns, yield several per cent, vm the same, it all brings a price, but it should be more accurate in 2016.

   There has been very little change since 1978 when a clip COOLANA from Western Victoria, was unlucky enough to get bad results in all three measurements, which was unusual. The catalogue said 21.2 microns on the fleece, it looked about 19.5 to 20.0 , the yield on the fleece quoted as 62% looked about70%, the skirtings tested 56% looked about 62%. vm on the skirtings was about 6% looked about 1 to 2%. The wool from that property could have sold well for 100 years. But it seems they converted to beef soon after the above debacle. Of course they weren't the only ones caught up in this lottery, many others were to different degrees.

   Surely in 2016 test results should be able to be duplicated when the same wool is tested twice with different brands unbeknown to the Australian Wool Testing Authority.

Australian Wool Innovation. Push for a Wool Exchage Portal.

   Australian Wool Innovations push for a Wool Exchange Portal, looks like dragging on for another year at least. Chief Executive, Stuart  McCullough has given his reasons for not inviting the W P A, or A W E X, and A W T A, to the information sessions in March 2016, and they sound reasonable.

   But not to invite the most important people, the Wool Buyers is ridiculous, without their agreement the whole process will be a waste of time and more money.

   Why invite the banking sector? Also ridiculous, if the idea of the W E P,  is any good the promotors will want to put up the money.

   Who cares if the banking sector were " bemused ", they know nothing about wool anyway.

   We knew a bank manager who was also bemused. He couldn't understand how a Wool Broker would sell wool to a Wool Merchant at auction, that could be sold at a higher price, untested subjectively, after being bought tested objectively at auction. He was stuck on the idea that it belonged to the broker and they would be too clever to sell it cheap....Objective measurement of wool has always been a lottery. See " The Wool Sting" 

   To worry about saving a couple of cents per kilogram in selling costs, is a joke, when the upside of higher prices could be Dollars per kilogram.

Textile Exchange. Responsible Wool Standard. How?

  Strange long convoluted article in the rural press recently quoting Laurence Modiano where he says" If Responsible Wool Standard takes off successfully in its current form, the price of NM/CM wool will soar". As is if that is bad! lamenting that many growers may leave the industry. Why would they? With higher price, it would have the opposite effect.  

  This R.W.S. suddenly appears out of nowhere, from an organisation no one has ever heard of, who take it upon themselves to tell us how to look after sheep. 

   This whole Textile Exchange idea of a R.W.S is a complete waste of time and money. To say customers are worried about where wool comes from, or mulesing is rubbish. Who is going to pay these auditors /pen pushers, running all over the country checking things they know nothing about. The motive for all  of these silly ideas, that pop up now and then, is to keep the price of wool down,