Woolclasser Stencil Integrity and Fraud
AWEX CEO, Mark Grave said; “The misuse of the classer’s stencil undermines the integrity and reputation of the Australian wool industry, as well as the wool classer registration scheme. Australia has invested over 50 years in developing the world’s best standards and training programs designed to deliver the world’s best-prepared wool. Actions such as this can destroy that hard-earned reputation overnight.”
With Wool prices at record levels, a negative consequence of this event has been the rise in theft and fraud cases involving wool. Police and AWEX are currently pursuing several cases where this misrepresentation has occurred. In some of those cases, wool growers are seeking legal advice about possible courses of action.
Contractors need to remember that wool growers are paying directly or indirectly for a woolclasser and if the woolclasser is not present, a person pretending to be or instructed to be the woolclasser, is potentially fraudulent and may be subjected to accusations of creating a situation where they are receiving money by deception. This practice has significant criminal and civil penalties associated with it, should the classer and or contractor be found guilty of such activities.
It is also worth noting that if a registered classer ‘lends’ out their stencil, this is a breach of AWEX rules and the wool grower’s clip will not receive the sought after ‘P’ certificate but it will receive a ‘D’ certificate and therefore may be limited for competitive demand from buyers, resulting in lower sale prices.
For more detail see the link to the AWEX Media Release.