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2019 Winner - Premier's Regional Recognition Award

Kia Ora Merino – BP, SS, JP & N Finnigan

E.S.P. Wool Production

E.S.P. – Ethical, Sustainable, Profitable – wool production is now a feature of this family farm, pulling together existing data and knowledge, and using independent consultants to create wholesale changes to farm practices.

The owners were not comfortable with accepted farming practice and wanted to change their systems to embrace a holistic model of intent, process and back story to produce wool sustainably.

Their goal – to produce wool that exceeded the consumers and community expectations – has resulted in huge gains for the environment.

Actions have included reducing chemical use, changing genetic selection of sheep, sowing permanent pastures, slowing or stopping run-off into rivers, planting native trees and increasing carbon sequestration.

In 2018 Kia Ora Merino, as part of the Fox and Lillie Genneys Group, was accredited under the International Wool Textile Organisations Responsible Wool Standard. There is no higher wool quality standard in the world.

Their work has demonstrated that traditional farmers can change practices, and becoming sustainable can increase demand for product as it completes the provenance of the product. Integrating landcare with sustainable wool production is a holistic system that is sustainable and profitable.

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