Woolmark and Freight On Board connect are expanding the FOBconnect online sourcing directory to include the wool apparel sector.

Woolmark licensees will be able to access new Internet-based business services thanks to the Woolmark company. The new service goes live in May.

And regular wool news updates will also be posted on to FOBconnect.com.

There will be an extensive Woolmark licensee search engine within the site which allows users to find Woolmark licensed companies and products.

It will also provide export quota information, marketing profiles and the latest business news.

Polo Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, Marks & Spencer and Warnaco are among the names already signed up by FOBconnect. A spokesman said: "The Woolmark company believes the FOB connect sourcing alliance will complement its recently announced textile trading venture WoolXchange.com."

WoolXchange went live on January 16 and is a partnership between Woolmark and TextileSolutions.

It is a global Internet-based trading platform for wool fabrics and yarns, open 24-hours a day, seven days a week. WoolXchange provides secure purchasing and shipment tracking online, as well as access to specialised testing and QA services.

By Deborah Bowyer