IWTO Share The importance of traceability in the wool industryTraceability is the ability to trace the entire lifecycle of a product from source to consumer. When it comes to wool, this means that wool can be traced from the farm on which it was cultivated to retail store where someone purchases a garment. International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) explains why traceability is important and how our industry facilitates it.

How And Why Wool Is Traceable

Traceability enables all stakeholders throughout the value chain to know exactly where the fibres they use have come from, and therefore whether they have been produced in ethical and environmentally friendly ways. It conveys the source location, as well as the impacts the product has had on the environment during the production process. It makes the textile supply chain more transparent. Why is this important?

Firstly, it ensures that textile production is carried out in sustainable ways. The consumption of water, energy, chemicals and other resources can be carefully traced and reported, and consumers can make their purchase choices accordingly. Traceability also prevents producers from making false claims with regard to sustainability and ethics in their production processes.

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Traceability Systems

Traceability is mainly ensured through the use of certification authorities and tracing measures such as QR codes and RFID chips. Most wool is sold with an IWTO Test Certificate, for example. This certificate reports how the wool has been declared through the particular national wool declaration programme – Australia and South Africa have notable systems that enable these declarations and certificates. Australia’s NWD programme enables the wool grower to provide information on items such as the mulesing status of sheep and other matters of widespread ethical concern. This information is then accessible throughout the supply chain, via the test certificates, and clothing producers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers can use this information to inform their choices.

Fox and Lillie Group’s Genesys System

Australian wool producer, the Fox and Lillie Group uses an industry-leading tracing system called Genesys. This platform promotes and enables woolgrowers to demonstrate their best farming practices to the world and ensuring a strong chain of custody as certified wool moves through the supply chain.

Founded in 1948, the Fox & Lillie Group is a 100% Australian family-owned agribusiness. The company established Genesys in 2017, for the promotion of carefully selected accreditation programs. Foremost among these is the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), a fully independent accreditation platform that addresses the welfare of sheep and the land on which they graze, ensuring transparency and traceability along the supply chain. Fox & Lillie Group supports Genesys through its operations of direct buying, brokering, exporting and early stage wool processing, as well its extensive range of domestic and international networks. Genesys provides supply and traceability benefits within the wool supply chain for both wool producers and end-users.

Learn All You Need to Know About the International Wool Industry

For more information on the wool industry around the world, take a look at our fact sheets, statistics and guidelines. If you want to find out more information about this topic, watch the Fox and Lillie video on the Genesys program.

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