Story image

NZ Merino inks $8 million contract to supply US-based SmartWool

14 Apr 15

The New Zealand Merino Company, which markets the nation's wool to customers on behalf of suppliers, has inked an $8 million one-year deal to supply 600 tonnes of New Zealand fine and medium micron wool to US sock and apparel manufacturer SmartWool.

NZ Merino aims to boost sheep grower returns from wool through supply agreements with companies such as New Zealand outdoor clothing brand Icebreaker and Danish slipper manufacturer Glerups. The SmartWool supply contract continues an 18-year partnership which has been worth $150 million to NZ Merino growers.

"The SmartWool contract is testament that a new way of doing business can work in our commodity-based primary sector," NZ Merino chief executive John Brakenridge said in a statement. "There certainly seems to be heightened awareness of this model now in the primary sector. It brings producers closer to end-users and that's important in making sure we supply a premium offering. It means NZM growers get the best possible return."

Colorado-based SmartWool's parent company, VF Corp, counts The North Face, Timberland and Vans among its global brands. SmartWool started as a ski sock brand in 1994 and has since diversified into performance and lifestyle apparel, selling products in 40 countries.

SmartWool's customers were increasingly interested in the company's 'brand story', particularly fibre that was accredited through NZ Merino's ZQ programme which requires standards for animal welfare, environmental care and social sustainability, as well as the high quality of the wool, said SmartWool president Mark Satkiewicz.

The company's focus on new product innovation required more complex fibre micron and volume analysis in advance of the contract, Satkiewicz said.

Report finds GCSB in compliance with NZ rights
The Inspector-General has given the GCSB its compliance tick of approval for the fourth year in a row.
Preparing for e-invoicing requirements
The New Zealand and Australian governments are working on a joint approach to create trans-Tasman standards to e-invoicing that’ll make it easier for businesses in both countries work with each other and across the globe
5c more per share: Trade Me bidding war heats up
Another bidder has entered the bidding arena as the potential sale of Trade Me kicks up a notch.
Hootsuite's five social trends marketers should take note of
These trends should keep marketers, customer experience leaders, social media professionals and executives awake at night.
Company-X celebrates ranking on Deloitte's Fast 500 Asia Pacific
Hamilton-based software firm Company-X has landed a spot on Deloitte Technology’s Fast 500 Asia Pacific 2018 ranking - for the second year in a row.
Entrepreneur reactivates business engagement in AU Super funds
10 million workers leave it up to employers to choose their Super fund for them – and the majority of employers are just as passive and unengaged at putting that fund to work.
Tether: The Kiwi startup fighting back against cold, damp homes
“Mould and mildew are the new asbestos. But unlike asbestos, detecting the presence – or conditions that encourage growth – of mould and mildew is nearly impossible."
Capitalising on exponential IT
"Exponential IT must be a way of life, not just an endpoint."