INDEPENDENT NEWS

New website, united front by possum product manufacturers

Published: Wed 28 Jan 2015 01:50 PM
MEDIA RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2015
New website signifies a united front by manufactures of possum products
The New Zealand Fur Council today launched it’s website: www.furcouncil.org.nz. The website signifies a united front by manufactures of possum fur products in New Zealand.
New Zealand Fur Council Chairman Neil Mackie says: “The possum fur industry is a growing industry already worth $130 million to the New Zealand economy annually. It’s important that people understand the industry, its contribution and potential for growth. This website for the New Zealand Fur Council is about collaboration and making sure there is a balanced view in regards to possum fur and harvesting. Given the general public's concern for animal welfare and conservation it is important facts and science are at the forefront of any debate.”
In June 2013 in an update on the use of 1080 poison to kill possums the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment recommended the Minister of Conservation ask the Department of Conservation to prioritise the development of national policy and operational procedures on possum fur harvesting.
Since then NZIER has done an economic impact report of the possum industry and a White Paper has been completed detailing a vision and strategy for the New Zealand possum fur industry to increase export revenues and provide conservation benefits.
The New Zealand Fur Council is currently working closely with the Department of Conservation on a Memorandum of Understanding that will see better access to DOC estate for fur harvesting by accredited hunters and trappers. The MOU will be signed in April 2015.
Through it’s website the Fur Council will:
• Promote understanding and communication amongst members of the wider community.
• Increase public awareness of the unique attributes of the possum fibre.
• Increase national and international demand for New Zealand made possum products.
• Communicate strict quality control mechanisms and ethical standards throughout the entire possum fur industry, using international standards where appropriate.
• Promote new research that substantiates the many benefits to New Zealand of commercial exploitation of possum.
The possum fur industry has been quietly but actively developing over the past 20 years. The New Zealand Fur Council advocates for the wider possum-fur industry. It represents the interests of its members in what is a comparatively new and unrecognized market that has the ability to positively contribute to the national economy and environment.
Members of the Fur Council include: harvesters, fibre collection agencies, yarn spinners and knitters. This group represents 90% of the New Zealand industry and includes Basically Bush, Koru Knitwear, Lothlorian Knitwear, Manawatu Knitting Mills, Weft Knitting Co - Noble Wilde and Woolyarns - Zealana and Perino.

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