Far West Young Farmers Group Wool Industry Tour

Fox & Lillie Rural recently had the pleasure of organising a wool study tour for the Far West Young Farmers (FWYF) group, arranging for the group to visit various wool industry companies around Melbourne who play an integral role in the wool supply chain.

Fourteen people made up the Far West Young Farmers tour including three Fox & Lillie Rural staff and eleven young farmers from areas around far west NSW, central west Victoria and South Australia.

The group was able to visit a number of industry organisations throughout the week to learn about the many different stages in the wool supply chain. These visits included a tour of the Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA), one of the largest wool testing organisations in the world, the Melbourne wool auctions to see wool being sold under the hammer, a tour of a wool dumping facility to see wool getting dumped in preparation for shipping, and a visit to one of the few operating wool scouring and carbonising plants in Australia.

Inspecting Lanolin At The Carbonising Plant
Inspecting Lanolin At The Carbonising Plant

The group also learnt about the various functions within the Fox & Lillie Group, visiting Fox & Lillie Rural’s head office and wool handling facility in Melton, Fox & Lillie’s show floor in Laverton where wool samples are prepared and presented to the buyers prior to the wool sales, and Fox & Lillie’s wool trading and export head office in South Melbourne to learn about what happens once wool is purchased from the woolgrower and exported overseas for processing.

The Far West Young Farmers organisation was founded by young pastoralists and agricultural industry-based professionals aiming to provide opportunities for education and networking for young farmers in and around their communities. Samara Anderson, Fox & Lillie Rural’s Broken Hill Wool Marketing Representative and Vice President of the Far West Young Farmers group is one of the leaders in the organisation who consist of a diverse group of people who have a very keen interest in the agricultural industry.

“We were very excited to host the group in Melbourne for a wool study tour. The trip was eye opening for the farmers who attended, and they were able to see the full extent of the processes that lead up to wool being sold and beyond.

One of the highlights of the week was the tour to EP Robinson, the scouring and carbonising plant, where they saw wool go through the carbonising process.”

Sally Crozier, from Tesa Pastoral and the Treasurer of the Far West Young Farmers group travelled over 2,000kms to join the wool tour.

“As a wool classer and wool producer and knowing firsthand all the hard work and effort that goes into trying to produce good quality wool. For years I have been interested in what happens to all that hard work once the wool leaves the property.

It was very pleasing and humbling to experience the openness and generosity of businesses willing to open their doors and take the time to educate us on what they do.
It was a very rewarding and influential couple of days and I’m looking forward to implementing all that I have learnt back at home and to continue to expand on the education of others.

I would 100% do this trip again and thank the FWYF committee for putting this trip together.”

The tour was a big success which Samara says was evident from the ongoing discussions on the bus, between each of the visits. The group left Melbourne at the end of the week with good understanding of the wool supply chain after being able to see the processes from start to finish. The week really demonstrated to the group the massive amount of work that goes into getting wool ready for sale, and each of the steps that follow.

Fox & Lillie Rural was extremely pleased to support this tour so that farmers have a better understanding of wool buying, wool trading, wool exporting, and the other processes in the wool supply chain.

These wool study tours align with our company’s desire to break down the barriers which have historically existed between wool producers, wool processors and wool consumers, by openly sharing their knowledge, expertise and information.

For more photos from the tour, visit Fox & Lillie Rural’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/foxlillierural

Fox & Lillie Rural Showfloor