Elco Direct is one of the largest wool buyers in New Zealand. Established more than 50 years ago, the company has a team of buyers based in Cambridge, Taumarunui, Raetihi and Taihape. The company's head office is in Cambridge.
With a philosophy of providing a competitive price and unequalled service to farmers, Elco Direct has established an extensive and loyal customer base throughout the North Island. There are no added costs for freight, market development or brokers. Its value-add services include wool pick-up and wool shed clean-outs, taking everything from the main clip to oddments and dags. It operates a large, modern dag-crushing facility.
Cavalier Woolscourers (CWS) is the country's largest wool scouring company, providing commission scouring services. It operates through Napier-based Hawkes Bay Woolscourers and Timaru-based Canterbury Woolscourers.
CWS cleans and processes greasy wool for domestic and export markets on behalf of New Zealand wool buyers and carpet manufacturers. It scours all the wool for the Cavalier Carpets division.
CWS is a large operation by international standards and a global leader in its sector. It is also one of the world's largest producers of wool grease, a by-product which is further refined to produce lanolin, an ingredient with growing demand for use in cosmetics and pharmaceutical products.
Annually the company scours between 90 and 100 million kg of greasy wool and is the only wool scour in the world that has plant and equipment capable of washing the full range of wool types - fine merino for the textile market right up to coarse wool for the carpet market. Market leading technology has allowed the company to set the benchmark for quality, washing to a cleaner and brighter standard than its competitors.
Cavalier Corporation has a 50% stake in Cavalier Wool Holdings Ltd (CWH) which owns 100% of CWS. Other shareholders in CWH include ACC and Direct Capital who have 25% each.
In 2011, the Commerce Commission gave approval for CWH to acquire the assets of wool scouring business Wool Services International which operates two smaller scours at Whakatu in Napier and Kaputone near Christchurch. CWH is currently progressing with its plans to rationalise the scouring industry having had the regulatory approval to proceed.