Client story: Lachlan Fulloon

One wool grower’s journey from sheep to chic and the farm insurance tailored to help safeguard his legacy


In the heart of the New England region of NSW, the legacy of wool production has been woven into the very fabric of the land. Lachlan Fulloon, a fourth-generation wool producer, owns and runs the family business Cressbrook Merinos, just south-east of Armidale. For over 100 years, wool production has sustained his family’s livelihood, having first embarked on their sheep farming journey back in 1908.

Cressbrook Merinos is contributing to New England’s reputation for producing some of the world’s finest wool. Merino wool creates a very soft fabric, ideal for various clothing types such as gowns, suits, adventure wear, sportswear, and nightwear, and Cressbrook wool is highly sought after by Italian mills and fashion designers.

In 2016, Lachlan became the Chair of the Fleece to Fashion Committee, a commitment that reflects his family’s deep connection to both wool and fashion.

“Fleece to Fashion brings the farming and fashion communities together to celebrate the story of Australian Merino wool production, its exceptional qualities, and its place in the global fashion industry,” Lachlan said. “The Committee has worked hard to grow the event to become a highlight for wool producers and fashion designers alike, uniting them with a common goal of elevating wool to the forefront of the fashion industry.”

With an important legacy to protect, Lachlan secures his business with farm insurance from specialist agricultural insurer Achmea Australia, who are this year’s Fleece to Fashion Silver Sponsor. Focusing on risk mitigation and optimising his insurance coverage, Lachlan’s experience with Achmea Australia mirrors the adaptability that defines the wool industry itself.

“Being able to tailor the cover to the needs of my business is a really attractive aspect of Achmea Australia’s All-in-One Farm Pack,” said Lachlan. “I really like that I can tailor Achmea Australia’s insurance and choose a level of cover for each item based on the level of risk I’m prepared to accept.”

“The face-to-face consultation is terrific. More recently, our Farm Insurance Specialist Rob Butler came out to the farm, we discussed what level of risk I am prepared to take on for each item, and then I was able to tailor our insurance package with that in mind.”

In addition to its national team of Farm Insurance Specialists, Achmea Australia’s Client Experience Team complements its on-farm approach to insurance.

“Having someone local and easily contactable when something does come up, or if I have a question, or a new piece of machinery to insure, is a big benefit of insuring with Achmea Australia,” Lachlan said.

Lachlan said Merino wool sourced from the New England region continues to be in high demand, largely owing to the local environmental conditions and genetics.

“The cool, temperate climate of our region is ideal for producing exceptionally fine Merino wool that has a low vegetable matter and dust content, resulting in a remarkably white fibre. The even spread of nutrition throughout the year further enhances the quality of the wool,” said Lachlan.

“We are a very progressive group of stud breeders locally, using current technologies and breeding methods to continually improve the quality of merino wool and profitability of our sheep.”

While wool is a commodity that has held his family in good stead throughout the years, Lachlan acknowledges the challenges that the looming drought conditions may present for some local producers.

“A drought in the New England area, particularly during peak lambing season, may create shortages of optimal feed for both ewes and lambs. This not only impacts the quality of the ewes’ fleece but also the lambs’ first fleece for the following year,” Lachlan explains.

“It’s certainly not ideal conditions at the moment, but it’s a cycle. From a seasonal point of view, we have to capitalise when conditions are good and produce as much wool as we can at the higher quality.”

Lachlan emphasised the importance of events like Fleece to Fashion, which bring together growers to support each other during tougher times.

“Farming communities rely on each other, and we need to support one another during the challenging seasons,” said Lachlan. “Getting together at industry events like Fleece To Fashion, whether times are good or bad, gives a boost of morale.”

“Fleece to Fashion not only supports the wool industry as a whole, but the local farming industry in the region as well.”

About Fleece to Fashion

Fleece to Fashion is an annual wool-based fashion awards event that brings together farming and fashion communities to celebrate the Australian Merino wool qualities, production and its place within global fashion and textiles industries. It is held in New England NSW, a region renowned for fine Merino wool production, and promotes wool as a natural, biodegradable and sustainable fibre. The event also serves as a launching pad for aspiring designers, enabling them to connect with relevant wool industry stakeholders.

For information about Fleece to Fashion, or to enter the Awards, visit 

As a Silver Fleece sponsor of the Fleece to Fashion Awards, Achmea Australia will proudly present first prize for the ‘Wool Re-imagined’ category at the Gala Dinner and Presentation on 25 November 2023. This category focuses on sustainable use of fibre (recycled or repurposed), closely aligned with Achmea Australia’s vision to protect and enhance a sustainable future for agricultural communities.

Insurance issued by Achmea Schadeverzekeringen N.V. (Achmea) ABN 86 158 237 702 AFSL 433984. The information in this document is general advice only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs (your personal circumstances). This means any advice may not be appropriate for your circumstances. Before using this information to decide whether to purchase the insurance policy, you will need to consider the appropriateness of any general information or advice we give you and how it relates to your specific situation to ensure the insurance cover meets your needs and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination (TMD) available from the ‘Downloads’ section of our website For feedback and complaints, visit To view Achmea Australia’s privacy statement, visit