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IWTO wool round table to focus on sustainability, best practices

Each year, the IWTO invites its members to examine key issues and explore solutions within the Wool Round Table conference which is expected to begin this year in Port Elizabeth — the hub of South Africa’s wool industry — where specialists in the trade will explore current media reports on textile sustainability, the role of wool in protecting the environment and ways that the industry can manage its resources to the benefit of the entire wool supply chain.

From on-farm practices to consumer empowerment programmes, the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) looks at how wool can supply solutions to retail's responsibility needs.

It isn’t all about sustainability. Care of sheep and the land they live on are key components of industry best practice in wool production life cycle.

Throughout the cycle of lambing, shearing, and protecting from pests and predators, wool growers will do what is necessary to care for their flocks, preserve their precious land resource and bring about a healthy yield of new wool.

IWTO Secretary General Dalena White revealed, “Textile brand managers have emphasised the importance of wool’s traceability and the wool industry has been proactive in ensuring complete transparency in the growing of wool. Numerous certificates of origin are available to buyers, complete with full detail of how the wool was grown and harvested.

"At the Wool Round Table, we will hear from experts in the field of sustainability about why these are now more important than ever and how we should gear our industry to supply the answers to environmentally aware consumers.”

Wool Round Table speakers include Louis de Beer, Cape Wools SA; Mark Grave, Australian Wool Exchange; Dr Beverley Henry, Queensland University of Technology; Angus Ireland, Australian Wool Innovation; Chris Kerston, Savory Foundation; Geoff Kingwill, Cape Wools SA; Cobus Oosthuizen, LifeXchange; and Rolf Pretorius, Olive Leaf Foundation.