The SustainaWOOL™ Integrity Scheme of AWEX and Cape Wools SA (CWSA) of South Africa has formed an innovative partnership to provide improved integrity and traceability of sustainably certified sources throughout the whole wool value chain.
CWSA and AWEX will work together to identify Merino wool that has not been mulesed and comes from SustainaWOOL™ Green and Gold-certified producers as well as South African growers that follow the Sustainable Cape Wool Standard (SCWS).
Deon Saayman, general manager of Cape Wools SA, said that as owners of sustainability standards, they've become more aware of the difficulties their processing partners experience in recognizing sustainably assured wool in consignments comprising lots from several grower nations. By establishing reciprocal recognition between the SCWS and SustainaWOOL Green and Gold, they will be able to offer their processing partners a more efficient and cost-effective certification procedure, opening the path for joint certification between the standards.
Saayman added that removing the requirement for role-players to independently verify the certified sustainable content of South African and Australian wool in their processing lots will provide value to users and improve the transparency required by downstream value chain users. It's important to note that the two standards will remain independent. However, they believe that this will be the first of many collaborative opportunities to create more efficient systems for their industry partners and, in turn, increase the availability and access to sustainably sourced wool. They believe that sustainability provides the path for the agriculture, fashion, and textile industries to have a bright future.
AWEX CEO, Mark Grave, said that he is optimistic that this will be the start of many collaboration possibilities to improve the availability and access to sustainably produced wool for wool industry partners.
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