A new strategy to get New Zealand’s strong wool back on the path to the global highs of the past has been launched by the Hawke’s Bay-led New Zealand arm of the worldwide Campaign for Wool.
The strategy of charitable trust CFWNZ, tasked with advancing the education and promotion of New Zealand wool, is linked to a series of key appointments announced recently, including that of Hawke’s Bay man Tom O’Sullivan to the role general manager – advocacy.
He relinquishes the position of chairman he’s held for the last three years, the second Hawke’s Bay chairman in the 12 years since the Campaign for Wool was launched, as a personal interest, by Prince Charles in the UK in 2010.
As HRH King Charles III, he retains his interest, and the position of patron, with some conjecture that a Royal Coronation tour may include Hawke’s Bay, partly because of the connection.
Succeeding O’Sullivan as CFWNZ chairman is Canterbury wool exporter and industry leader Ryan Cosgrove who becomes the third chairman closely linked to Hawke’s Bay, the founding leader having been Stephen Fookes, who also lives in the region.
Born in Australia, Cosgrove moved to Napier at the age of 13, already inseparable from the fibre industry with a family background in cotton and soon extended to the wool industry in New Zealand, including a holiday job with Wright Wool in Waipukurau between studies at Victoria University.
Completing the Hawke’s Bay links is former Iona College pupil Kara Biggs, who takes the second new pivotal role, that of general manager – strategy.
The strategy outlines how the CFWNZ will narrow its focus to three primary strategic pillars, ensuring that New Zealand wool – in particular, strong wool – is better understood both here and abroad as a fully sustainable, natural, high performance super fibre.
Cosgrove says the CFWNZ Strategy 2023-2025 is instrumental in clarifying the trust’s vision as it moves into a new phase of growth, establishing New Zealand wool as a premium product across the globe and shifting buying preferences….
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By Doug Laing