“This is an issue that can be addressed on farm, quickly,” said Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX), CEO, Mark Grave.
“The bale weight minimum and maximum standards have been set by industry to achieve optimum efficiency in handling and processing.
“It is easier to press a bale within the correct weight range on farm, rather than passing that responsibility down the supply chain.
“AWEX is working closely with Selling Agents/Warehouses to address this issue.”
In a new initiative AWEX is contacting wool classers to report the (overweight or underweight) receival weights of individual bales from clips they have recently classed.
This feedback will make the classer immediately aware that their performance directly impacts the next customer in the supply chain and can add significant costs to the handling of wool.
This feedback should be the catalyst to improve the performance of their shearing teams.”
“When wool is received at the store, the selling agent/warehouse doesn’t know if or how many over/underweight bales might be in each load, each clip, or how many lines of wool will be effected," Mr Grave said.
On receival, over/underweight bales are identified in each clip and the processing of the clip stops.
Decisions then have to be made about how each bale and line will be handled before the processing of the clip can be proceed.
“Wool can miss the intended sale due to the additional time required to rehandle over/underweight bales and additional costs are being incurred for handling,” said Mr Grave.
“The active cooperation AWEX has received from selling agents/warehouses on this issue shows the extent of the impact and level of concern this has in the industry.
"The estimated cost of handling and then re-handling over/underweight bales is anywhere between $20-$30 per bale and the cost to the industry is conservatively estimated to be between $600,000 to $900,000 p.a.”
“To support this campaign, we urge growers and contractors to ensure that the wool classer and wool presser have access to working, calibrated scales in the shearing shed. Bale weights are important.”