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Non-mulesed wool driving demand

By MICK MCGLONE | July 6, 2013, midnight | Border Mail

COROWA farmers Don and Karen Mills describe it as a no-brainer, one which has seen their product reach New York catwalks and put Australian wool in the international spotlight.

And that was their decision to switch to non-mulesed sheep.

“Our plans were already in place well before the industry changes regarding mulesing because we were disillusioned with traditional merinos” Mr Mills said.

“We ceased mulesing in our dohne merino flock in 2008, by using specific genetics through the continued use of plain- bodied, bare-breached sheep.

“Dohnes provided an easier care animal with excellent conformation and adapts well to environmental and climatic conditions.

“Their high fertility is combined with rapid lamb growth makes an excellent prime lamb and their soft white wool ensures that our 19 micron wool clip was never compromised.”

Their decision proved to be right on the mark when the couple were approached by the directors of New Merino.

“New Merino had purchased part of our 19 micron wool clip at auction,” Mrs Mills said.

“It supplies non-mulesed wool to leading spinners and garment makers that is certified to standards required by their customers and with full traceability.

“Each consignment of wool is supplied with an E number where the manufacturer can view the farm profile of where the fibre was grown.”

Mrs Mills said demand for non-mulesed wool is growing, especially in the outdoor leisure market wear and that manufacturers, retailers and customers want certainty the fibre can be legitimately traced back to the supplier.

“Brands are reflecting the current trend of consumers to wear products that conform to lifestyle, health and sustainability and are prepared to pay a premium to source certified non-mulesed wool,” Mrs Mills said.