How are you feeling today?
Pretty good. I’m working from home on Thursdays and Fridays at the moment, which is really new for me. But I was able to go for an early surf this morning which is a fantastic way to start the day. We have been very lucky for sure, but the community and government have worked very hard together to control the spread of Covid-19, so we are still able to get outside our homes for some exercise and have some respite from a full lockdown situation.
You are living in NSW, Australia (please let us know the area?) – how is everything over there at the moment? I live in a beach suburb of Sydney call North Curl Curl, about 15km north of the CBD. As I said before, we still have some freedom, but we still struggle to find toilet paper at the supermarket. Whilst we can still get out for some exercise, we must keep our social distance and only be in maximum of two persons, except if living in the same house. You can’t sit on any of the chairs or benches at the beach as they are roped off, and public parks are closed. But you can still grab a takeaway coffee and take a quick swim or surf in the ocean – but you have to then move on. Ofcourse, people are anxious for many reasons in this current extraordinary situation, but I have noticed just how friendly everyone is, and obliging in ways I have not seen before. There is a sort of “we are all in this together’ attitude, and there is great support and care for each other.
Can you tell us a little more about your work and how important it is to you?
They say that for some people work defines you. I’m not sure if that is how I feel about my work, but I certainly have enjoyed all my years with New England Wool. My job has afforded me the opportunity to travel and meet interesting and wonderful people, and I am thankful for that. I have grown up alongside many of my Italian colleagues so my position feels more like being in a family than a company. My parents have a merino sheep enterprise in the New England area of NSW so my job allows me to work closely with them on the preparation and marketing of their wool. I enjoy meeting and dealing with our various suppliers around the world, understanding their issues, and sharing relevant information with them from our Italian friends and the everchanging market.
We feel lucky to have you as such a great partner in our supply chain here at BEGG & CO, do you feel there is a stronger feeling of community and support that has helped you during this time?
I feel humbled that you see myself and New England Wool as a great partner. We feel the same about you. I know our business is right at the start, but it has become very clear that you and your customers/consumers are really interested in where the raw product comes from, how it is produced, and the effect it has on our environment and community. We are passionate about our wool and mohair producers and are only too happy to share the sustainability credentials - their love of their stock, community and their environment. This definitely brings us closer together. I think that one of the biggest “positives” that will come from this current crisis will be our resilience and our appreciation for each other. I think we are all communicating with each other more now than in normal times – and finding ingenious ways to do so. Maybe we will move from the “me” generation to the “us” generation.
What is important to you about working in your industry?
Transparency! There are so many vested interests that can cloud the way we look at this wonderful industry. By maintaining transparency, it shows that are able to look at ourselves, appreciate that we are not perfect, and seek to find ways to improve what we do. I never get sick of seeing a bale of beautiful, soft, white and stylish wool, and understanding the wonderful sustainable story behind it. I want all consumers to have the same feeling about the products they buy made from this unique fibre.