Elders district wool broker Brett Smith has been crowned the 2017 National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia's Wool Broker of the Year.
Mr Smith, who covers the expansive North West NSW and Southern Queensland region, was tonight presented with the prestigious title during the Australian Wool Industries Secretariat’s Wool Week gala, held at Aerial, Melbourne.
Competition judge Charlie Merriman, director WoolProducers Australia, said it was Mr Smith’s holistic approach to servicing woolgrowers which earned him the industry’s top gong.
“Brett showed he is improving his clients’ profits and even, in his big pastoral area, survival of the Merinos during dry times,” Mr Merriman said.
“Through his facilitation of Merino nutrition and productivity programs, he has shown he can work with all woolgrowers in his region – not just his agency’s growers - which will stand him in very good stead in the future.
“Brett’s support of (the) Pastoral Profit Program has helped growers’, so when the dry times come along, they have been able to better manage their financial requirements.
“To have an agent that can help you with your livestock, while maintaining some continuity of income is impressive.”
Sponsored by Fairfax Media and Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA), Mr Smith will be flown to the International Wool Textile Organisation’s congress next year where he will be exposed to the wider wool industry beyond greasy wool auction, as well as the international trading rules system for wool.
Fellow panellist Ian Ashman, general manager of AWTA, said the award showcased the critical role brokers played in lifting the profile and production of Australia’s wool industry.
“A rising tide lifts all boats, and that is relevant to a good brokers’ impact on the entire industry,” Mr Ashman said.
Mr Smith competed against finalists’ Landmark, Bendigo wool account manager Candice Cordy and Australian Wool Network wool and sheep specialist Russell Macgugan, Western District, Victoria.
“What we see with these finalists, compared to the traditional brokers, it is not just a matter of turning up to a property at shearing, these guy need to know the clips, the values in the market, know the trading options as well as market risk strategies,” Mr Ashman said.
“They also need to know about fibre to garment and possess knowledge about the total processing chain.
“A modern broker now looks at genetics, and has knowledge on Australian Sheep Breeding Values, and knowledge about the meat production.
“The job has changed and now it is a given you have all these skills in your portfolio.”