IWTO Elects new President

IWTO Elects new President

IWTO Elects new President

Klaus Steger President ERWO Holding AG Germany, head company of Südwolle Group was elected President of International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO). IWTO elects a new President every two years. Outgoing President Wolf Edmayr completed his term as the IWTO Congress concluded in Kyoto Japan last week. Over 250 delegates and partners attended the first post Covid Congress, and some 20 virtual delegates.

At an interview with Victor Chesky, Editor www.woolnews.net spoke with Klaus Steger, who outlined a number of challenges that the textile industry will face over the next few year.

‘The industry must address regulatory restrictions as a priority. Here I refer to PEF (Product Environmental Footprint), and the textile legislation coming down the pipeline in the EU. There seems to be a misconception about how wool is treated.  Wool is a natural and sustainable fibre and should not be grouped in with synthetics’, he pointed out.

‘In sustainability and within the regulatory framework wool must be clearly defined for its natural attributes. We in the industry must make certain that this is well defined and well-articulated to the EU and everywhere else around the world. The principle of circularity of farm production in wool must be acknowledged when compared with manmade fossil-based fibres. The Make the Label Count campaign is a very good start but we must ensure that the entire industry chain behind it.

‘We must also double our efforts in promoting the excellent attributes of wool fibre to retail consumers. We must go beyond speaking about this within the industry and get the message out loud and clear to the end consumer.

‘The industry must also tackle the obligatory certifications with uncontrollable liabilities. We must take responsibility for our full supply chain. The discussion around pooling all the necessary information together to create a cohesive, industry workable document for all to use has already started its journey with groundwork at Kyoto Congress, and there are realistic expectations that there will be developments in this area before the next IWTO Congress next year.

‘And last but not least we must ensure a growing wool production around the world. A sustainable level of income for wool growers globally is paramount to guarantee there is sufficient wool supply available to the industry into the future. The wool grower must value the sheep for its wool, not just its meat.

‘I am looking forward to getting down to working with group heads of new and existing IWTO projects already underway’, Klaus Steger remarked.