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Lachlan Sutton, Wool Broker of the Year 2016

HIS innovative approach to marketing at a local and national level nabbed Elders’ Lachlan Sutton the National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia and Fairfax Media’s 2016 Wool Broker of the Year title.

In his eight years in the wool broking industry, Mr Sutton has flexed his muscles to become an influential bridge between wool growers and the wool exporting fraternity and in doing so has redefined the expectations of a wool broker.

The prestigious win will see Mr Sutton attend the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Istanbul, Turkey in May 2017. The prize is part of a tour of the wool industry, beyond greasy wool auction, which aims to provide the winning industry ambassador with international networking opportunities.

Judging panelists Ian Ashman, Australian Wool Testing Authority, Charlie Merriman, Boorowa woolgrower and Annabelle Cleeland, national sheep and wool writer, Fairfax Media, praised Mr Sutton’s on ground efforts to boost national production and increase clients’ returns.

His experienced understanding the supply chain, with overseas customers, intermediate markets and end users, has provided Mr Sutton’s clients with value-adding opportunities.

He has had heavy involvement in the creation of Elders’ Guaranteed Minimum Price Contract, which Mr Sutton said helped growers lock in a minimum price while being able to take advantage of positive market movements.

He has developed a regional benchmarking tool which compares woolgrowers performances as part of holistic efforts to increase production of the national Merino flock.

Currently based in Broken Hill, Mr Sutton has conducted several grower information days related to animal nutrition in an effort to improve fertility, meat and wool production and animal welfare.

These workshops focused on rumen development, pre-joining fertility management and transport protocols, to better manage the welfare and marketability of sheep.

He showed an impressive understanding of marketing options, which has led to direct sales above market values for specialist type wool, as well as examples of sound price risk management advice during volatile trading periods.

Mr Sutton’s influence on the wool industry extends beyond on-farm sustainable practices, with a committed focus to programs which attract the next generation of wool brokers and growers.

These programs include the International Wool Textile Organisation’s Young Professional’s Program, Elders’ leadership Development Program and Elders South Australian Young Wool Grower’s award.

Mr Sutton won the top title against finalists Dale Bruns, Australian Wool Network and Robert Calvert, Roberts Limited.

The calibre of finalists was commended at the awards ceremony, held at Aerial, Melbourne, during Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Wool Week.

Mr Ashman applauded the finalists’ passion and dedication to the wool industry. 

“Finalists showed a commitment to providing an outstanding service to their grower clients as well as important work in educating the next generation of brokers,” Mr Ashman said.

“What was clear to the judges from the finalists’ presentations was the complexity of modern day wool broking and the detailed skill set needed to do this job effectively.”

Original article by Annebelle Cleeland, Stock & Land.

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