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Argentina adopts RWS wool standard

Argentina’s wool industry will adopt the language, content and best practices of Responsible Wool Standard (RWS). This means that from 2018, the Argentinian wool sector will use RWS as a basis for the outreach and training of the country’s sheep farmers.

RWS is meant to facilitate the adoption of improved sustainability practices in Argentina’s wool textile sector. It aims at providing the industry with a tool to recognise the best practices of farmers, ensuring that wool comes from farms with a progressive approach to managing their land, and from sheep that have been treated responsibly. The practice of mulesing to suppress fly-strike is not allowed. Brands such as H&M, Coyuchi, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, Kathmandu, Marks & Spencer and Tchibo among others are involved in the RWS program.

Argentina is one of the five major wool producing and exporting countries in the world. The major sheep-producing area in Argentina is the Patagonia region in the south where there are around 10.5 million sheep, of which 75 per cent are Merino.

Argentine wool growers have benefited from improvement in world wool prices and from a massive devaluation of its currency at the end of 2001, which gave a considerable boost to its export industries, including wool.