Carrfields to focus on NZ Natural Fibres business
Approximately 2,100 farmers will vote in November on a proposed merger between grower-owned export and marketing company Wools of New Zealand (WNZ) and Primary Wool Co-operative to form a fully integrated supply chain business.
Ahead of the ground-breaking vote, Primary Wool Co-operative will become the 100% owner of CP Wool with the purchase of Carrfields Ltd’s 50% shareholding. Carrfields Ltd will turn its focus onto the specialist manufacturing of wool and hemp products through its majority ownership of the NZ Natural Fibres business alongside Hemp New Zealand and the other minority shareholders.
“These strategic moves are the outcome of year-long talks between Carrfields Ltd, Primary Wool Co-operative and WNZ, which collectively handle 37% of New Zealand’s wool clip,” says James Parsons, chair of WNZ.
“Growers have been asking for consolidation and now they will get the chance to have their say. Together, we can deliver the vision and scale required to make a real difference to New Zealand’s struggling wool industry.”
Richard Young, chair of Primary Wool Co-operative and director of CP Wool, says the proposed merger marks the start of an exciting chapter for the wool sector and will act as a launch-pad for New Zealand to truly realise the full potential of wool.
“This proposed combined business will enable both businesses to realise their potential as a single grower-owned entity.
“For CP Wool suppliers, it will be the link to greater customer intimacy via the Wools NZ market-focused strategy. For Wools of NZ growers, CP Wool will bring the engine with its large bale numbers and network of stores that allows that strategy to come to life.
“The Primary Wool Co-operative and Wools of NZ boards have been working side by side since late last year to answer the demands of growers for consolidation and develop a strategy to lift strong wool sales volume and price.
“The merged organisation’s strategy will be underpinned by a shift from wool as a raw commodity to grower-owned and branded consumer wool products. Ultimately, the development of an integrated supply chain aims to improve returns for our growers.”
Craig Carr, managing director of Carrfields and chairman of CP Wool, says the wool industry needs leadership, investment and a strategic focus to deliver better outcomes for long term participants.
“Carrfields has decided that supporting the joining together of the two grower organisations and turning our attention to investing in the future development of wool and hemp products makes good sense strategically.
“In the current fast moving environment, we want to ratchet up our activity through NZ Natural Fibres and we have a number of exciting opportunities in front of us.
“Also, Carrfields will continue working with our international brand partners in its ongoing drive to develop new markets for wool.”
Wools of NZ recently announced it is manufacturing and supplying wool carpet to Flooring Xtra’s 61 stores and 30 other independent flooring retailers across New Zealand.
Wool growers will be able to find out more via a nationwide road-show beginning in early August.