IN just eight years, Landmark’s Candice Cordy has climbed to one of the most senior broker positions in the industry, as the Australian Fleece Competition convener.
This year, Ms Cordy captained the logistical operations of world largest fleece competition, handling 414 fleeces, which were exhibited by 166 growers from every wool growing state in the country.
She headed the management from farm to the end buyer, including conveying with press, coordination of the transportation and presentation of the national fleece event.
“The competition is a great example of many sectors of the wool industry working together in showcasing wool to the world.” Ms Cordy said.
“I oversee the process from end to end but the strength of the competition is certainly the contributions made by so many individuals and organisations.”
This year, Ms Cordy helped modernise the competition by helping implement a streamlined, online entry system.
Her humble management style and progressive attitude earned Ms Cordy a position as finalist for the 2017 National Wool Broker of the Year competition.
She is passionate about the competition which she said allowed stud and commercial sheep producers to have their fleeces benchmarked subjectively and objectively.
“Grower profiles are displayed for each fleece so the overall display and results catalogue contain a wealth of data on the performance of fleece from a range of bloodlines and production areas,” she said.
“The benchmarks used in the competition are reviewed to ensure the relevance of the competition is maintained.
“This lead to the introduction of the performance classes in response to the practice of shearing at six to eight month intervals by a number of woolgrowers.”
The performance class was introduced to maintain the commercial relevance of the fleece competition.
“In this class, wool growth and value are calculated on a weekly basis which is not only generally interesting but is also a useful tool for growers who might be considering the practice,” she said.
“In the absence of a lot of research and trials, this section of the competition provides some figures on the potential production and returns.
“The fully measured and benchmarked nature of the competition set it apart from the beginning.”
Her future goal is to introduce more technology to improve the entry, receival and judging processes of the event.
Q&A with 2017 Wool Broker of the Year finalist Candice Cordy, Landmark
How long have you been in the industry?
I undertook the Landmark graduate program in 2009. I then took on a livestock sales support role for 12 months before becoming a wool account manager in November 2010. I also grew up on a family farm so have been involved in some form my entire life.
What do you see as your major achievement?
Working my way through the Landmark business and growing into my current role of wool account manager. Becoming a valued and multi skilled member of the Landmark wool team and now having the opportunity to build relationships and be involved with assisting wool growers to improve their wool production and marketing outcomes. Also introducing and discussing newer concepts with woolgrowers, such as shearing at more regular intervals.
What makes a good wool broker?
In my current role, I assist clients with sheep classing and ram selection as well as clip preparation and marketing. The aims of these activities are of course to maximise returns and develop sustainable businesses for the client base and also Landmark. I believe that even small improvements in the performance of a sheep flock can not only improve their profitability but also provide a fantastic boost to the grower’s confidence and can renew their enthusiasm for the sheep in their enterprise. I believe it is incredibly important to clearly communicate with clients to ascertain which areas of their business they would like to improve and also their future direction and goals. I am mindful that as a wool broker it is my role to work with clients to achieve their own goals, not to impose a certain direction on them. I feel this is an ethical approach to being involved with the livelihoods of clients. Each and every client is different and requires a different approach.
I believe a good wool broker maintains knowledge of the wool industry as a whole, from production best practice and emerging trends, through to market movements and most importantly is able to clearly communicate this with their clients. Also taking a holistic and balanced view of a client’s farm business and understanding how wool production fits into the system.
In what way do you hope to make your mark on the industry?
In my own small way - by changing the perception of the wool broking industry and the role of wool brokers. The modern wool broker, while obviously focusing on marketing wool clips for clients, also appreciates how wool production fits into a whole farm business and suggests shearing and sheep management concepts which optimise the whole production system. I hope to illustrate that wool broking is a fantastic career choice and the sheep and wool industry offer many opportunities. I would consider myself to be a well-rounded employee that is flexible to carry out a range of tasks.
What do you see as the major challenge for the wool industry, and what role does a broker play in dealing with this?
Competing land uses, increasing input costs and alternative fibres. As a wool broker, I think it is important to work with woolgrowers to assist them to embrace relevant technologies, breed productive and profitable animals, create opportunities for the next generation and ensure the long term sustainability of their business. It is important that we maintain a critical mass of wool production to ensure continuity of supply.