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Cheetahs in pure Merino wool

Cheetahs in pure Merino wool

Seems as though one can judge the Cheetah rugby team by their jackets! Ever since the team was presented with a proudly South African wool jacket, made from pure Konsortium-Merino wool, they have won four Super15 matches on the trot.

In April the Cheetahs and their management were kitted out in Konsortium-Merino wool jackets, which have their origins in the very heart of the wool industry. A week later, when the team took to the field at the Free State stadium, two Konsortium-Merino rams stood alongside the field to bring them luck. Since then they have triumphed over the Brumbies, Crusaders, Lions and Rebels.

Konsortium-Merino wool is produced, washed, combed, spun and woven in South Africa and locally tailored into cool, lightweight wool jackets. Not only does this create jobs, but adds value to South Africa’s agricultural products. Konsortium-Merino is a group of farmers with 130 members and more than 240 000 producing ewes under their brand. Most of the Konsortium farmers are Cheetah supporters and “their wool now in the jackets of their heroes” says Madelaine van Heerden from Konsortium-Merino. “The Free State team depicts the Konsortium-Merino image of a small group of people with passion and potential, who are able to make a huge difference in their own field. They have vision, determination and loyalty – salt of the earth and proudly South African.”

The first time Tewis de Bruyn donned his jacket he said “this was made for me.” De Bruyn says the jacket is lightweight and smart – “something the men can wear with pride after a match.” Hawies Fourie, assistant coach, grew up on a Merino farm and remembers how he loaded the belly wool onto his ‘draadkar’ and transported it to the classer at the sorting table. “I also have a love for the Merino and for wool. It really is a great priviledge for all of us to receive such beautiful jackets from such a ‘grênd’ product.” Juan Smith of the Free State Cheetahs says that as a farm lad himself, it is a priviledge to wear a proudly South African product which adds value to farmers' agricultural products and distinguishes them from the rest.

Konsortium-Merino is doing groundbreaking work in the smallstock industry as regards to establishing a brand and adding value to their wool and meat. Of their milestones include: Konsortium-Merino annually sells the most rams on official ram sales in the country (700+), has bettered the SA record turnover for a Merino ram sale at six consecutive sales, is the first Merino stud to appoint its own stud advisor and mentors to improve their farmers’ businesses, has negotiated alternative marketing channels for their farmers’ wool which means they now have choices and marketing costs have been cut by more than R800 000 in this past season, is the first stud to have its own feedlot, the first to sell their Merino meat under their brand and the first to produce a pure Merino wool jacket from their own wool.

Madelaine says “our wool story is ‘green’ and therefor it appeals to the European consumer who is aware of what he wears and eats...and is prepared to pay more for a brand that is produced in harmony with nature, creates jobs and subscribes to a Code of Best Practises. Their pure Merino wool jackets are available from mens clothing stores such as Stanwell in Bloemfontein, Friedman @ Cohen in the Strand, Coquis at the Centurion, Collonade and Glen Fair shopping centres in Pretoria and De Jagers in Worcester, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Tygervalley, Oudtshoorn, George, Mossselbay, Malmesbury and Vredenburg. For inquiries phone Madelaine at 072 308 3883.

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