Representatives from one of Australia’s largest wool customers in China have expressed interest in telling the story of Boorowa’s past and heritage to Chinese consumers after visiting the town on a wool tour last week. Feng Pan and Sheng Wang, employees from Shandong Nanshan Fabric and Garment Company, toured Boorowa’s Landmark before going to Tara Park to see sheep and shearing, aiming to learn about wool’s supply chain.
As a result of the tour Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) is now developing an idea for the company to tell stories of Boorowa’s wool industry in marketing its wool-based clothing products.
Shandong Nanshan Fabric and Garment Company produces six million suits a year, according to Jimmy Jackson, AWI’s general manager of product development and commercialisation.
The company sells its products on China’s domestic market while also exporting to Japan and Western European brands, he said.
AWI is now preparing a report on ideas developed during Mr Pan and Mr Wang’s visit, and plans to visit Shandong Nanshan Fabric and Garment Company to develop the marketing idea further and try to set a date for a campaign launch.
Mr Jackson said Chinese consumers want to know the history and the craftsmanship behind clothing products, and acknowledged Boorowa’s long tradition of wool growing.
“When we went to that [shearing] shed in Boorowa what we saw was 200 years of experience,” he said.
AWI plans to talk to local property owners about the idea and look for old stories from the region.
Boorowa Landmark’s Simon Flick showed Mr Pan and Mr Wang different types of wool during their tour of the region, including crossbreds and merinos.
“At the wool store they were interested to know the flow of wool through the [production chain], how the wool was pressed and branded,” he said.
“They were very fascinated with the shearing of the sheep out at Tara Park.
“They were fascinated with how the wool was skirted and prepared and classed up.”
Mr Pan, a production director at Shandong Nanshan Fabric and Garment Company, and Mr Wang, who works in process and product development, had never seen sheep shearing live before, Mr Jackson said.