10 Apr 2012

Direct supply wool deal could be widened

6:32 am on 10 April 2012

A wool marketer who arranged a direct supply deal between an Otago farm and a Japanese clothing company sees opportunities for other wool growers as well.

Tony and Rebecca Clarke, of Closeburn Station near Ranfurly in Otago's Maniototo district, have sent their first shipment of merino wool to Japanese corporate-wear manufacturer and retailer Konaka Co.

The ultra-fine 15 micron wool they are supplying will be used to replace cashmere in a new range of winter garments.

The Clarkes are hoping it will be the start of a long-term partnership with the Japanese company.

The deal was arranged by Craig Smith, senior international sales manager with wool exporter H.Dawson.

He thinks it will open up the opportunity for other wool producers to establish a direct supply arrangement with the Konaka company, as well as other customers.

Mr Smith says when the time is right he will select other growers, possibly next year or the year after.