Growers

Robert Butson and daughter Kate.
Mt Nicholas Station, Queenstown, New Zealand

ICEBREAKER WAS THE FIRST COMPANY IN THE WORLD TO DEVELOP DEEP, LONG TERM RELATIONSHIPS WITH MERINO GROWERS.

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A WINDOW INTO WHERE THE JOURNEY BEGINS

In 1997, icebreaker became the first company in the world to establish long term contracts with key merino wool growers. The contracts were based on genuine trust and a mutual concern for animal welfare and the environment.

Come and visit Omarama Station, one of our 75 contracted stations in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

Omarama Station

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icebreaker growers are committed to a strict animal welfare code that even extends to sheep dogs working at the stations.

The five freedoms
of the flock

Guaranteeing the five key freedoms for our flock means you can feel happy in the knowledge that the sheep felt just as good making your icebreaker merino as you will wearing it.

LINDIS PEAK Station,
Lindis Valley, New Zealand

01

Freedom from hunger and thirst

Sheep with good nutrition are better able to cope with natural stress, such as extreme weather. Farmers must ensure sheep have access to clean water and adequate nutrition.

LINDIS PEAK Station,
Lindis Valley, New Zealand

02

Freedom from discomfort

Farmers must ensure that their sheep have adequate shade and shelter available at all times.

OMARAMA Station,
New Zealand

03

Freedom from injury or disease

Farmers must regularly monitor each sheep, to help prevent disease and illness including rapidly diagnosing animal health issues.

LINDIS PEAK Station,
Lindis Valley, New Zealand

04

Where sheep can
be sheep

Sheep must be free range and roam in open pastures. This allows them to display their natural patterns of behaviors with minimal human intervention or interference.

Muller Station,
Marlborough, New Zealand

05

Freedom from distress

Farmers must manage sheep to avoid any unnecessary stress and pain. Their farms also need to be maintained to ensure they do not pose a risk of injury.

Learn more
LAKE HAWEA STATION,
OTAGO, New Zealand

100% of the contracted icebreaker merino stations have been audited in the last three years.

icebreaker merino stations are audited on a three year cycle by JAS-ANZ accredited AssureQuality Ltd. The audit process involves on-site visits, discussions, access to farm stock, facilities and records, citing of supporting documents and written plans. Additional random vet and shearing audits also take place.

To farm within those boundaries of nature... You want to preserve what’s here... not to alter the land."

Robert Butson,
MT NICHOLAS STATION,
Queenstown, New Zealand

People come to the farm and you say you supply icebreaker and you definitely feel proud of that."

Lucy Maling,
Lindis Peaks Station,
New Zealand

We’re signing up to a 10-year contract and that means our kids have certainty for 10 years."

Richard Subtil,
Omarama Station
New Zealand

sustainability isn’t just a feature of our products, it’s in the values and design of our business.

Read our transparency report