The world’s natural resources are precious and we must take care of them for future generations. Our wool fibre growers are stewards of the land and we exist to support them.
For more than a decade, through the evolution of the ZQ programme we have addressed sustainability issues. During 2017 we have looked at how we can validate the issues we feel are important and recognise that alignment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is the best way forward.
We have identified 5 goals that stand out as opportunities to continue to explore alignment however we have also found touchpoints in many of the other goals that encourage us to continue referencing these global objectives.
The ZQ programme addresses social responsibility including health and safety compliance which is hugely important on-farm. ZQ also works in a ‘ blue ocean’ space conducting research on the attributes of wool that enhance wellbeing.
The ZQ programme provides a platform of learning opportunity for our growers and the wool industry. Growers have access to an experienced team to assist with continuous improvement of farming practices including environment and animal welfare. ZQ consistently pushes the boundaries exploring research and development opportunities and to share insights with both our growers and the wider wool industry.
The ZQ programme requires growers to have a land environment plan that describes how land will be managed to avoid negative impact. This includes water quality affected by effluent run off, silage pit leachate, fertiliser and agrichemical run-off, and excess sediment from earthworks. The use of water for irrigation and stock water is also a significant issue and the sustainable extraction and use of water is key.
- -Ability of humans and stock to drink from the waterways.
- -Ability of humans to swim and enjoy waterways.
- -Ability of waterways to sustain a healthy ecosystem and,
- -Minimisation of nutrient run-off.
The ZQ programme strives to link growers with customers and secure forward contracts that provide economic stability. Growers achieve income security via 3 -5 year forward contracts for their wool supply enabling them to invest in their farming enterprise. Customers achieve a stable price for their supply that should in urn flow through supply chains ensuring employment security.
The ZQ programme requires growers to have a land environment plan that describes how land will be managed to avoid negative impact. This includes healthy soils; biodiversity; healthy waterways and bodies; responsible management of hazardous substances and waste.
During 2017 we investigated opportunity for greasy wool fibre with Cradle to Cradle ™. We were thrilled to achieve a silver status but also the highest platinum level of certification for our material health. To learn more http://www.c2ccertified.org/products/scorecard/zq-merino-kura-fibre-the-new-zealand-merino-company-limited