A GROWING number of Australian woolgrowers want to do away with the Woolmark symbol on woollen garments, according to a survey in the Stock and Land.
The nation-wide survey revealed that only 33% of growers wanted to retain the recognisable Woolmark and Woolblend clothing labels, while 54% would prefer their wool to be branded as Australian Merino.
The results fly in the face of the Woolmark Companys promotional policy, the grower-funded body responsible for promoting Australian wool.
It rejects the notion of branding wool as Australian because it believes overseas consumers would prefer to buy locally produced products.
The Woolmark Company has spent millions of dollars promoting its Woolmark brand world-wide.
According to research by the company those campaigns have promoted an 80% awareness of the brand in 11 key countries (better than Mercedes Benz and McDonalds).
But with wool prices at a five-year low, Australian woolgrowers are desperately searching for any measure that will re-ignite confidence in the international market.
By switching to an Australian-Merino tag they are hoping Australian wool will in time become a symbol of quality, similar to Italian leather, French perfume, Cuban cigars and French champagne.
A shift to country of origin branding has been made easier by South Africa and New Zealands decision to resign from the Woolmark Companys predecessor, The International Wool Secretariat.