Fox & Lillie Rural lead Chinese study tour

The Wimmera Mail-Times

By Erin Witmitz

Fox & Lillie Rural representatives, Stephen Fleming and Andrew Hendy at Xinao Textiles in China

A HORSHAM wool broker has toured export and rural service divisions in China as part of an educational study tool.

Andrew Hendy was among 31 Fox and Lillie Rural staff who participated in the tour earlier this month.

The purpose of the study tour was to enrich staff knowledge of wool processing beyond the farm gate and to be abreast of the current processing and market trends for wool, through discussions and forecast meetings with the wool processors and textile manufacturers in China.

Fox and Lillie Rural brokerage manager Eamon Timms said the tour incorporated seeing the processing of greasy Australian merino fleece wool, skirtings, short carding types and crossbreds, and witness their conversion into a great cross-section of fabrics and garments.

He said staff were able to see and feel garments, helping them gain a more thorough understanding of the wool pipeline.

“The wool processing pipeline is evolving and improving all the time and we want staff to be at the forefront of the latest advancements and trends within the wool industry,” he said.

China buys about 80 per cent of Australia’s wool.

Fox and Lillie Rural managing director Jonathan Lillie said the company chose China for the tour because the country was the world’s leading consumers of wool.

“They buy and use wool across every micron and type,” he said. Mr Timms said it was an exciting time in China.

“The market is maturing so significantly and it was a great chance for the staff of the business to see it first hand and to be able to relate it back to their wool grower clients,” he said.

“We want our staff to have a strong knowledge of the entire wool pipeline so that they can assist their wool grower clients with preparation and marketing strategies to maximise their returns from their wool clip.”

Mr Hendy said he had toured China once before with Fox and Lillie Rural and this was a great opportunity to return to the country.

“The feedback we got from the mills was that they were all happy with the quality of wool coming out of Australia,” he said.

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