For New Zealand wool grower Kate Cocks, following wool from Mt Nicholas Station to its end use is a privilege.
“A lot of farmers say goodbye to their product at the farm gate and wouldn’t have a clue where it goes, so it’s really interesting for us to actually be able to see where our products are going.”
Mt Nicholas has supplied wool through the ZQ (and now ZQRX) platform since its inception. She says it’s important for consumers to understand how the products they purchase are produced from end to end.
“ZQRX is a fantastic platform for us to be able to demonstrate how we’re producing the product. And it goes much wider than animal welfare. It looks at how we look after the land and how we look after ourselves. I think that as farmers, a lot of the time, we’re doing a lot of stuff that we forget to tell anyone that we’re doing it. And I think ZQRX is really great is that it actually delves into some of the things that we’re doing, but perhaps haven’t been measuring as well as we should have been.”
Kate says the platform allows growers to share the particular strengths of their properties.
“It’s about being able to maximize what is great about your particular property and operation and record that in a meaningful way. It’s a really cool thing to be able to do and share that information with others.”
Kate says the strengths of Mt Nicholas Station are the natural landscapes and rivers, the native bush and healthy native ecosystem.
“Farming within these wide open spaces that are largely natural landscapes is a really healthy, sustainable regenerative way to farm.”
For Kate, regenerative farming is about looking after the land and improving. “It doesn’t matter how good a job you do, there is always room for improvement. That might come from new technology or from new ways of being able to measure and monitor. ZQRX is an important platform for this continuous improvement.”
“We try to farm with a really light touch - not impacting on the land in any visible way. We follow a lot of the traditions that have been here for the last 150 plus years, but we’re bringing in modern technology where we can do a better job and keep improving for the future.”
ZQRX wool growers not only produce the highest quality, most ethical wool in the world, they also work to give more than they take from the natural world, the animals living in that world, and the human communities interacting with it.
Growers use a new platform called the Regenerative Index (RX) to help them measure and improve how much they give back as they restore waterways, protect native species, offset carbon, and enhance local communities.
ZQRX wool is essentially a recipe for how we might produce and consume things in the future where products will not only change our lives for the better, they will change our entire world for the better by giving a little more than they take.