Australian Wool Innovation Unveils New Corporate Identity and Brand Portfolio

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) is pleased to unveil its new corporate identity and brand portfolio marking a milestone in the innovation and marketing of Australian wool. AWI will spend more than $120 million over the next three years relaunching Australian Merino back into the international marketplace as the world's best luxury fiber.

SYDNEY, Australia -- Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) is pleased to unveil its new corporate identity and brand portfolio marking a milestone in the innovation and marketing of Australian wool. The company's new logo features a symbolic stylized ram's head as its calling card.

AWI will spend more than $120 million over the next three years relaunching Australian Merino back into the international marketplace as the world's best luxury fiber. New licensee programs for the Australian Merino(TM) and the Superior Merino(TM) and Superior Merino Blend(TM) brands will be rolled out globally from the end of August 2008. These trade marks will work alongside the Woolmark, supported by a new accreditation and testing regime.

It represents an important turning point for Australian Merino and the 35,000 Australian woolgrowers whose sheep graze one quarter of the country and produce approximately 400 million kilograms of fleece, worth around AUD $2.8 billion annually; representing close to 85% of the world's apparel wool.

"We are committed to supporting our hard-working Australian farmers, now the world's largest wool producers," said Craig Welsh, AWI CEO. "AWI is dedicated to the ongoing development of high value-adding services to provide woolgrowers, AWI shareholders, trade, retail and marketing partners with the tools they need to prosper. We have worked over many months to develop a brand stable that offers new and existing licensees tangible benefits for using Australian Merino wool. We look forward to working with AWI's business partners to shape the future of what AWI believes is the world's most luxurious natural fiber."

Australian Wool Innovation is a not-for-profit public company that invests Australian woolgrower and Australian Government funds in research, innovation and the support of businesses and individuals throughout the Australian Merino supply chain.

"The global swing toward eco-friendly products brings opportunities for the natural fiber textile industry and Australian woolgrowers," said Craig Welsh. "Active and informed consumers are insisting on greater integrity and authenticity in the products they buy. Australian Merino wool is completely natural, biodegradable, sustainable and authentic, making it a sound choice for retailers, suppliers and consumers. We want our new brands to communicate and champion these important ecological messages."

"North America is vital to our plans," explains Robert Langtry, Chief Marketing Officer for AWI, "We believe our natural fiber status and quality of product will appeal to the luxury end of the market, and we are gearing up to support our partners in telling a new generation of consumers why Merino garments are the best natural fiber alternative."

Australia stands as one of the world's largest producers of wool. The Australian Merino grazes a quarter of the Australian landscape and produces half a billion kilograms of fleece worth around $2.5 billion a year. AWI is a non-profit organization funded by over 35,000 wool-growers, producing one of the world's most luxurious and dynamic natural fibres. AWI looks forward to the global revival of the Woolmark brand; and the next 200 years for Australian Merino wool.

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