A bright future for Primary Wool Co-Operative and the New Zealand wool industry is now a step closer, with shareholders supporting a recent capital raise and the organisation filing an improved balance sheet.

Following Primary Wool Co-Operative submitting its 45th annual report to the Companies Office on February 11, the co-operative’s chair, Janette Osborne, says the organisation has emerged from a year of reflection and consolidation on a positive footing.

“I’m pleased to report that we have laid the foundation for a very positive future for Primary Wool Co-Operative. We are very happy with the initial response to our capital raise and our accounts are in good shape. This will enable the continuation of industry-good investment, value-add initiatives and sustainable returns to shareholders,” says Mrs Osborne.

The strong support received from shareholders for the capital raise – with $1.8 million received or committed to be paid via deductions so far – demonstrates shareholders’ commitment to the organisation and the New Zealand wool industry as a whole, she says.

“The board is extremely grateful to shareholders for backing their organisation. We are now a step closer to being able to start work on some of the exciting initiatives we are planning to help boost demand for New Zealand wool.”

Primary Wool Co-Operative is also very pleased with the performance of Carrfields Primary Wool (CP Wool), in which it has a 50% shareholding, Mrs Osborne says.

“The Primary Wool Co-Operative board is confident in CP Wool’s ability to deliver on its five year strategic plan, which forges a solid path towards a positive future for New Zealand wool farmers. Our directors have no intention of calling up Primary Wool Co-Operative’s loan to CP Wool, and in fact have received the support of our shareholders to invest further in the company.”

Among CP Wool’s initiatives are several new partnerships aimed at raising awareness globally of New Zealand wool as a highly valuable and versatile natural fibre. CP Wool is also investigating the “huge potential” of hemp through its subsidiary NZ Yarn.

“We’re thrilled to have established such a strong platform for the future of Primary Wool Co-operative. At a time when wool prices are presenting significant challenges to farmers, our shareholders have demonstrated their optimism about several industry initiatives, as well as supporting greater industry cohesion to achieve positive outcomes,” says Mrs Osborne.