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Agreement a win-win – except for possums

NeilMackieandLouSanson

Chairperson of the New Zealand Fur Council Neil Mackie and Department of Conservation Director-General Lou Sanson signing MOU at Woolyarns NZ.

Greater conservation and economic benefits will follow an agreement signed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and New Zealand Fur Council (NZFC) today.

DOC already works with individuals who wish to hunt and trap on conservation land, but this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the collective voice of the possum fur industry will make it easier for Fur Council accredited hunters and trappers across the country to gain access to public conservation land for fur recovery operations.

“We need more possum fur to increase the market size for New Zealand’s unique blended Brushtail possum yarns and garments,” says Neil Mackie, chairman of the New Zealand Fur Council.

“Many of the possums in our country are on public conservation land, so the MOU will allow trappers to access more fur, increase the market, and better target ecologically important areas.”

Lou Sanson, Director General of Conservation says: “The agreement is a pragmatic way to broaden the battle against a pest that preys on native wildlife and eats an estimated 21,000 tonnes of bush a night. We have to prioritise our possum control operations on the areas where the forests or wildlife are most vulnerable but there are millions of hectares of bush that we simply can’t get to.

“By encouraging fur trappers into these areas we can deliver results for the taxpayer, the fur industry, and conservation. Our research shows that having trappers knocking down possum numbers in the buffer zones around our own targeted pest control projects can delay possum re-invasion by two to three years.

“DOC spends more than $10 million a year on possum control so any delay in re-invasion will give New Zealanders’ more bang for their buck – as well as precious extra time for our native plants and birds to recover. The fact that New Zealand businesses and local communities will also benefit from enabling more fur recovery operations is the icing on the cake.”

Mackie says there is unfulfilled international market demand for blended Brushtail products.

“Working alongside the Department of Conservation will be an important part of telling overseas consumers how possum fur products are environmentally and ethically sound. We’ve been delighted with DOC’s willingness to work with the trapping industry and look forward to a rewarding and ongoing relationship,” says Mackie.

As well having been seen on the fashion catwalks of Paris, in the increasingly trendy hand-knitting scene, blended Brushtail possum yarns are recognised as a special product he says.

Memorandum of Understanding – DOC and NZ Fur Council

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World’s First for Fashion From Untouched World

Leading New Zealand lifestyle fashion brand Untouched World launches KAPUA™, an exclusive new knitwear development that sets the benchmark for supreme luxury and comfort.

Kapua, being the Maori word for cloud, truly expresses the sensation of this new knitwear. It is another example of innovation from Snowy Peak Ltd, parent company of Untouched World™.

By blending three of nature’s finest fibres; luxurious cashmere (40%), the new dehaired delicate winter downy undercoat of the possum (40%), and silk (20%), they have created an ultra-luxurious yarn. MORE >>>

Popup possum fur store

She’s the dairy farmer’s daughter from Monaghan who has become a fashion go-getter in New Zealand with luxury-feel products made from possum fur.

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In New Zealand, where Elizabeth lived for 14 years, possum is regarded as a pest and is environmentally culled to protect native wildlife.

Its soft fur is recycled to produce cosy and warm outerwear. Farmers and outdoor-types wear it in jackets and fur linings in their work boots, while fashion models and busy mums avail of its cool-in-the-summer, warm-in-the-cold qualities. MORE >>>

Pact favours fur industry

Success for Perino blend strengthens hunters’ chances for better access to public land. A pact being negotiated by the Department of Conservation and the Fur Council is expected to boost New Zealand’s possum fur industry which generates $130 million a year.

It should help overcome anti-fur protest action such as one designer encountered after featuring the Perino blend of possum fur and cashmere or merino yarn in its Fashion Week collection.

Association with DOC’s strong environmental brand will assist promoters of possum fur products to get the message across that the marsupials are pests on which millions of dollars are being spent on eradication to stop them destroying forests. MORE >>>

Perino product goes high fashion

A new blend of possum fur and Merino wool has propelled Woolyarns New Zealand to the exclusive fashion market.

The Wellington yarn maker hit the international fashion runway at last month’s NZ Fashion Week, where designers including Maree MacLean featured their luxury possum fur product Perino.

“This was something we have been looking to do,” Woolyarns NZ marketing manager Jimad Khan said. MORE >>>

NZ possum hits fashion catwalk

With apologies to Dame Edna, it’s Goodbye Possums.

New Zealand’s possum fur industry is estimated to be worth $130 million annually to the country’s economy.

Perino, a blend of possum fur and cashmere or merino yarn, recently featured on the catwalk in garments from the latest collection from The Noble Savage.

While possum is popular in the tourist market, the move into high fashion is exciting Lower Hutt manufacturer Woolyarns NZ, which sees big returns.

”High-end fashion designers are asking for more from their suppliers. Products need to meet high standards in regards to quality and sustainability. Perino fits all these criteria,” Woolyarns marketing manager Jimad Khan said. MORE >>>

Possum fur processor looks to exports

A possum fur processor looking to expand into the export market foresees no problems getting supplies of the fibre.
Woolyarns New Zealand of Lower Hutt, is the biggest manufacturer of yarn blended from possum fur and merino wool or cashmere.
The possum is regarded as New Zealand’s worst animal pest because it spreads bovine tuberculosis among cattle and deer herds and is also a threat to native wildlife and plants.
That is why it’s targetted in large scale 1080 poisoning campaigns.
Woolyarns’ managing director, Neil Mackie, who also chairs the New Zealand Fur Council, said fur processors rely on possum control operations for their supplies too. MORE >>>

Hunters – July update

Hello Possum Hunters
Here is an update on the state of the industry.

The current fur price is stable. There is unlikely to be any upward movement in price. In fact market conditions could see a price drop mid-season.
We anticipate continuing to buy at current volumes for the remainder of the season.

Demand for fur skins has declined globally by 50%. There is currently little demand for possum on the international market.
We are buying green skins for fur recovery. The price is dependent on size and fur cover.

For more information email Steve: steveb@farmside.co.nz