Australian Wool Innovation's chairman has drawn ire for recent "misinformed" comments that grower groups are not taking any leadership over animal welfare issues.
The comments from Jock Laurie appeared in the most recent annual report from the Australian Superfine Wool Growers Association in regards to market signals from European markets around the demand for non-mulesed wool.
"We do not disagree with the Europeans but it is difficult to convince wool growers to go non-mules especially in more remote areas because of the extra costs involved if there is no premium for many wool types," he said.
"If they want non-mules, pay a premium and it will happen.
"Perhaps we need to promote the need for a premium more.
"Yes, it is possible big brands will just walk away from wool.
"Some of them may already be doing that.
"I would like to see farmer groups getting in there to move the matter forward but I do not see that leadership at the moment."
Now WoolProducers Australia has fired back, saying the body has progressive policies in relation to animal welfare, including calling for mandatory pain relief when undertaking mulesing.
WoolProducers president Steve Harrison said the comments from Mr Laurie were "disappointing and completely unfounded, but not surprising".
"Actions speak louder than works, if Mr Laurie took the time to genuinely understand and collaborate with WoolProducers the industry would be a lot better off," he said.
WoolProducers general manager Adam Dawes said misinformation presented a very real threat to the sector through the erosion of social license to operate.
"It is essential that we tell our story, that is why WoolProducers have initiated initiatives such as the Sheep Sustainability Framework and the Trust In Australian Wool campaign, the later of which AWI has chosen not to collaborate in relation to distribution or promotion in any way whatsoever," he said.
"We know that there are variable premiums for non-mulesed and certified wool, and that these premiums alone don't appear to be enough to drive universal practice change.
"In recent months WoolProducers have learnt that there is now demand for non-mulesed lanolin, and some major global processors will be transition to 100 per cent non-mulesed wool from 2025.
"It's essential that growers receive this messaging so that they can invest in the sustainability of their business by ensuring that their businesses continues evolve to meet emerging customer needs."
It comes after wool brokers blasted Mr Laurie's comments in the same article likening a new wool traceability hub in the pipeline to "failed" platform WoolQ.
AWI has declined to comment on either the criticisms from WoolProducers or the wool brokers' groups.
The conflict comes on the eve of AWI's board election, due to be held on Friday.
WoolProducers also called on AWI to release a full report of results from its survey measuring international sentiment towards mulesed and non-mulesed wool.
AWI put out a three-page summary of the report in August.
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