Local superfine wool growers have reaffirmed their place at the top of the industry, scooping top accolades not only for the region but nationally in New England Wool’s Ultimate Clip competition.
Four local families were announced as regional and national winners at an industry cocktail party held at Petersons Guesthouse and Winery on Friday night. The event attracted around 120 guests.
The awards are held annually by superfine wool buyers New England Wool and invite entries from Queensland, NSW, Tasmania and Victoria.
Tony, Janet and Cameron Gall from Uralla took out the top gong, receiving a trip to Italy to visit spinning and weaving mills.
Tony Gall said he was pleasantly surprised to receive the award after years of entering the competition.
“I think it’s a nice award or reward to receive after all these years,” he said.
“I have been to Italy before on a few occasions but it’ll certainly be nice to go back and meet up with these two specialist wool processers, Barberis and Reda.
“We look forward to seeing the advances they’ve made in recent years and the encouragement they’ll be able to bring forward as well.”
The awards take into account a producer’s entire clip, or the total amount of wool shorn from a particular flock within a year.
The Gall’s clip scored 94 points out of 100, with 45 per cent of the clip valued as “spinner” style, the highest quality wool sought by the company.
Mr Gall said although the superfine wool industry was suffering due to lower demand for the product worldwide, his family was committed to continuing to produce high quality wool.
“We hope that we’ll overcome these difficult times at the moment and we’ll see some brighter years ahead,” he said. “It’s a big commitment but we’ve certainly got the encouragement to keep going.”
New England Wool managing director Andrew Blanch said it wasn’t unusual for New England wool producers to take out the overall prizes in the competition.
“It’s just a matter of fact that this area does produce some of best wool in the world,” he said.