Leading third-party certifier SCS Global Services (SCS) announced today that Gostwyck Partners’ sheep farm, located in Gostwyck, NSW, Australia, has achieved certification under the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS). This historic farm, operating since 1834, has demonstrated that it meets all of the animal welfare and land management requirements of the RWS.
“We have been raising high-quality sheep on this land for 181 years, and are proud that our practices have been independently verified,” said Gostwyck director, Philip Attard. “SCS conducted a thorough, professional audit of our operation, providing full transparency into our practices, and assuring our customers that we stand behind our sustainability commitment. This certification is a testament to the fact that our superior quality Merino starts with happy, well-cared for sheep.”
SCS conducted a comprehensive review of Gostwyck’s farming operations, examining the company’s efforts to safeguard the well-being of its sheep through management, nutrition, infrastructure and health, and behavior and handling. SCS also verified the company’s land stewardship practices, such as its understanding and strategy to mitigate damage, improve soil health, ensure the biodiversity of the land, and minimize fertilizer and pesticide use on its land.
“The Responsible Wool Standard provides a very important opportunity for wool farmers in Australia and New Zealand to have their sustainability practices independently corroborated,” said Nick Capobianco, SCS Director for Australia and New Zealand. “RWS certification will increase international demand for wool from down under.” Gostwyck is certified under the “Farm Scope” of the RWS standard, he explained.
“We are pleased to certify this landmark farm,” said Nicole Muñoz, SCS Managing Director. “As a certifier of sustainability practices in agriculture for over three decades, we are excited to be able to verify the efforts of wool farmers and the wool supply chain to comply with internationally recognized benchmarks.”
SCS provides third-party certification under a variety of internationally sustainable agriculture labels, including SCS Sustainably Grown, Veriflora®, Better Cotton Initiative, Fair Trade USA, the Equitable Farm Initiative’s “Responsibly Grown / Farmworker Assured”, the Roundtable for Sustainable Biomaterials, and more. In addition, it provides independent auditing oversight for the sustainability supply chain programs of several international consumer brands. Its worldwide network of auditors perform assessments for large, medium, and small farms, as well as farm groups.
SCS Global Services (SCS) has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for more than 30 years. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in apparel, green building, food and agriculture, natural resource extraction, and much more. SCS was approved by the Textile Exchange as a licensed certification body for RWS in March 2017. SCS is a California benefit corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices, and is a 2017 recipient of the Business Intelligence Group (BIG) Sustainability Award.
The Responsible Wool Standard is an independent, voluntary standard developed by Textile Exchange (textileexchange.org). On farms, the certification ensures that sheep are treated with respect to their Five Freedoms and also ensures best practices in the management and protection of the land. Through the processing stages, certification ensures that wool from certified farms is properly identified and tracked.
Gostwyck is an innovative wool farm located in the New England tablelands of Australia. Founded in 1834, Gostwyck is led today by fifth and sixth generation descendants of founders Henry Dangar and his wife Grace. The dedication to quality goes back to the 1850’s when 28 Rams were selected from Saxony (Germany) and shipped to Australia. This has evolved into an operation that produces fibre that is finer than cashmere, retaining the key characteristics unique to Saxon merino. Gostwyck is committed to sustainable grazing practices that benefit the environment, improve ecology and provide the best welfare and health possible for its sheep. Over the past 30 years, Gostwyck Merino has focused on producing total comfort next to skin. This quality is now measured and supported by tests from the WoolComfort Meter, which scores Gostwyck Merino at the very top of the Comfort spectrum.