Findings from an online survey have shown a vast majority of Australian woolgrowers believe Covid-19 has significantly impacted their business.
Conducted by peak wool representative body, WoolProducers Australia (WoolProducers), to gauge the initial impacts of Covid-19, the survey found producers have been impacted in both financial and non-financial ways including significant reductions in income, difficulties accessing farm inputs and labour, as well as ramifications from declines in the wool price.
WoolProducers President, Ed Storey, said the declines in wool price has seen many woolgrowers withhold or withdraw their wool from sale at auction, leading to reduced cashflows.
"The global response to COVID-19 has obviously impacted nearly every facet of how the world operates, and the wool industry is no exception," WoolProducers president, Ed Storey said,
"Respondents to the survey estimated an average 32.6 per cent financial loss to their businesses during this time and further, over half of the respondents are currently not offering wool for sale."
Respondents to the survey estimated an average 32.6 per cent financial loss to their businesses during this time and further, over half of the respondents are currently not offering wool for sale
After analysing the results, WoolProducers has made a number of recommendations to the federal government for short-term assistance measures and medium and long-term recovery support activities to assist Australian woolgrowers.
"The current environment and operations of the wool industry due to the pandemic, both domestically and internationally, have the ability to potentially affect the viability of wool growing businesses in the short, medium, and long-term," Mr Storey said.
"WoolProducers have identified a number of actions that government can undertake to assist Australian woolgrowers during this difficult time."
The short-term activities are designed to help with immediate cash-flow and support services, including more effective communications regarding currently available government support measures.
While medium- to long-term recovery policy requests are aimed at trade diversification and other activities to mitigate trade exposure risks.
"Woolgrowers have repeatedly proven that they are resilient, and we have faced adversity many times before," Mr Storey said.
"WoolProducers would like thank those who participated in the survey as it has helped us better understand what is happening on ground and how we can best advocate these needs to government."
A copy of the full report can be found at WoolProducers Australia website.