Wool Roadmap Launching in Vietnam

PRESS RELEASE: Australia and Vietnam strengthening ties with wool – the most sustainable fibre in the world. 

Ho Chi Minh City - April 2024. A delegation from WoolProducers Australia (WoolProducers), the peak organisation representing Australian wool growers, has travelled to Ho Chi Minh City to launch the roadmap for wool processing in Vietnam. This marks a significant milestone in the economic collaboration between the two countries, especially for the textile industry.

Wool production is a major component of the Australian economy, having exceeded AU$3.2 billion (US$2 billion) in value in the 2022-23 season. More than 31,500 businesses across Australia held sheep in 2021-22.

To reinforce this robust industry, Australia is considering options to diversify its wool exports, which are currently concentrated in only greasy (unprocessed) wool and to a limited number of markets. Four countries (China, India, Italy, and the Czech Republic) currently account for over 95% of all Australian wool exports. 

The wool textile supply chain is one of the most complex agri-product supply chains in the world, with many interdependent steps in the supply chain. Greasy wool is processed in many stages, from wet to dry processing, spinning, knitting or weaving, before finally turning into fabric for garment making. Most early-stage processing currently takes place in China, and such a concentrated supply chain poses multiple risks to the industry's sustainability. Vietnam, as an emerging hub for textile production, is considered a potential key partner for trade diversification for Australian wool.

This is one of the main themes of the recently finalised ATMAC (Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation) project “Ensuring a sustainable future for Australia’s wool supply chain”, conducted by Deloitte Access Economics with assistance from WoolProducers’ industry representative in Vietnam, Mr Kelvin Le. He is a member of the Australian Industry Hub Vietnam (AusHub), established with funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to promote market research and market entry to Vietnam.

“This project intended to identify complementary supply chain partners for Australian wool market expansion. Given its exciting textile trade and predicted growth, Vietnam was identified early in this process as a market with huge potential,” remarks Kelvin.

The ATMAC project presents a comprehensive roadmap to increase the trade of raw and early-stage processed wool between Australia and Vietnam. Consultations throughout the project found that downstream supply chain partners including spinners, knitters, weavers, and garment manufacturers also have a desire to expand their supply chains to mitigate their procurement risks. To expand Vietnam’s role in global wool supply chains, a pathway is defined with short-, medium-, and long-term goals, from developing the first at-scale processing facility to scaling production to build a thriving industrial presence.

WoolProducers CEO, Ms Jo Hall, remarks: “Australia is renowned for its high-quality wool, particularly Merino wool, known for its softness, breathability, and temperature regulation. Meanwhile, Vietnamese textile manufacturers are increasingly recognising the value of incorporating wool into their products, driven by consumer demand for premium, natural fibres.” 

At the upcoming Saigon Textile & Garment Industry Expo - SaigonTex, the WoolProducers delegation will also be in touch with Vietnamese industry experts and leaders. With Vietnam’s textile trade predicted to grow by 4% year-on-year, along with longer-running economic trends of manufacturing shifting to Southeast Asia and a favourable trade environment, the two countries are in a privileged position for partnership.

On the evening of the 12th of April, WoolProducers Australia in collaboration with the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Deloitte Access Economics will host a briefing session in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City. Here, they will further explain the findings from this research project and introduce the roadmap, which includes several action items to instigate, collaborate, and cultivate early-stage wool processing in Vietnam, to textile, logistics, and consulting firms. 


“This strategic partnership holds promise for both sides. Australian wool producers gain access to a new and expanding market, while Vietnamese manufacturers elevate their product offerings with premium wool,” Ms Hall emphasised.

About WoolProducers’ Australia

WoolProducers Australia is the peak organisation representing Australian wool growers, which plays a critical role in working closely with companies and entities funded by woolgrower funds including compulsory levies or fees for service. Its mission is to develop constructive and profitable outcomes for woolgrowers nationally.

WoolProducers maintains a working relationship with Australian Wool Innovation as the voice of woolgrower shareholders. It aims to contribute to AWI’s programs for the benefit of growers, promoting responsible use of levy funds and ensuring good corporate governance.

WoolProducers Australia carries a significant responsibility for decision-making on behalf of the industry in the event of an emergency animal disease outbreak. It is also responsible for providing key policy advice on behalf of its members, and other woolgrowers, to Australia’s peak farm body.

WoolProducers works closely with the Australian Federal Government Departments on key issues such as animal health and welfare, biosecurity, pest management control, natural resource management, drought preparedness, emergency animal disease outbreak preparedness and industry development, including research, trade and logistics.

About the Australian Industry Hub Vietnam

The Australian Industry Hub Vietnam (AusHub) was founded in a partnership between the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AusCham) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to create new bilateral trade and investment opportunities in line with the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES).

AusHub is initially supporting 03 Australian industries with market development for the first two years, including WoolProducers Australia, Summerfruit Australia, and Wine Australia. It will then transition into a Services Hub for any Australian or Vietnamese business seeking market entry, development, or diversification bilaterally.