On 9 September, 2022, the Sustainable Fibre Alliance organised the Natural Fibre Connect conference in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The event welcomed 120 in-person guests representing 17 provinces, 58 herding cooperatives, processors, partners, academic institutions, as well as government and non-government organisations. An additional 11 thousand guests attended virtually through the SFA’s live-stream of the conference on Facebook.
Talks were held throughout the day along with a series of working group breakout sessions to discuss the following important themes:
1. The need to focus on the social issues of herders
2. Natural fibres – becoming the driving force of the rural economy
3. Livestock Breeding and Care Realities – Challenges for Farmers and Cooperatives
4. How Chain of Custody and Traceability are Changing the sector?
5. How to support cooperatives with green financing?
Herder cooperatives and communities discussed the importance of maintaining fibre quality alongside sustainability, and the need for affordable veterinary care and subsequent medicines. One of the main takeaways relating to animal care was that if good conditions (health care and water quality) are maintained in line with international standards, waste would be reduced and herder lifestyles would also be improve. Water quality was highlighted as a major issue, with a large percentage of families using wells which can lead to hygiene concerns. Artificial insemination was also a topic of discussion as a viable option to maintain the sustainability of herder lifestyles.
Other key takeaways related to social protection and health insurance. Herders were encouraging to conduct medical examinations for themselves at minimum twice a year; herders were also urged to partake in the extensive ‘herder health insurance’ to protect their finances and maintain social protection, especially due to the risky nature of their jobs. Linked to this, it was determined that labour safety standards on par with international guidelines need to be introduced, implemented and monitored in herding groups.
Furthermore, protecting herders through education and training was emphasised as paramount, so that they can better understand and utilise tools like satellite imagery, GPS and identification services. These technologies can be applied in order to facilitate surveillance activities and monitor where their livestock are grazing.
To close out the conference, more information was shared regarding the new collaboration between the SFA and Khan Bank, one of the major commercial banks in Mongolia, which is providing preferential loans to certified herding families and cooperatives.
As the Mongolian government expands and creates more positions with the priority of protecting the cashmere industry, social protection for herding communities should become a bigger consideration. Additionally, creating better incentives for sustainable change within the industry would aid both Mongolian herding communities and the national economy.
Understanding the Growers & Herders perspectives is key to building better textile fibre supply chain partnerships to accelerate innovation and sustainability
On 7-9 September 2022 the Natural Fibre Connect online conference for the alpaca, cashmere, mohair, and wool industries completed successfully.
Over 1000 tickets were sold for the live event and on-demand content platform to participants from 43 different countries. For 6 hours on each of the three conference days, over 80 speakers shared their knowledge across 9 key themes such as animal welfare, social welfare, regenerative agriculture, traceability, green finance and the metaverse. Majority of the presentations were available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Mongolian.
Highlights of the event, were speeches from His Majesty King Letsie III from Lesotho, Artist Michelangelo Pistoletto as well as La Rhea Pepper, CEO of Textile Exchange.
Recordings of all live presentations and discussions are available on the platform along with additional on-demand content until the end of the year.
In addition to the live conference, ticket holders also had access to a virtual exhibition hall where close to 40 different sponsors representing the Alpaca, Cashmere, Mohair and Wool industry exhibited their organizations and projects. Visitors to the virtual booths were able to connect and interact with the respective booth representatives.
The Natural Fibre Connect conference has highlighted the challenges of the textile industry of natural fibers of animal origin, considering current global trends. Industry experts, opinion leaders, breeders, brokers and brand representatives have shared their experience, concerns, limitations and challenges the industry faces in the light of new consumer demands.
One of the most important conclusions was that sustainability has multiple dimensions: environmental, economic, social and cultural; only when all four dimensions are being addressed progress in areas such as climate change, desertification and animal welfare can be achieved. This became apparent in the discussions around traceability and green finance where efforts need to go beyond Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) or animal welfare standards and instead must consider economic and social dimensions as well.
The argument can however also be reversed. Improving livestock and regenerative practices and certifying them requires financial resources and the commitment and partnership of the entire value chain. Speakers of the green finance session have shown that funds exist and that the natural fibre industries must work together to tap into this massive opportunity.
Speakers of the Web 3.0 session also gave a glimpse into how the metaverse and blockchain technology will change supply chains, on-farm data management as well as consumer interaction with textile products and the people working in textiles. The transformational power of the new technologies is the future of the industry and will connect us in ways we cannot imagine today
The event was closed with growers and herders connecting live from Australia, Mongolia, China, South Africa and Argentina to share their perspective, challenges, questions and ideas with the supply chain.
Participants by industry sector
Natural Fibre Connect Online Conference 2022
Natural Fibre Connect is an online conference taking place on 7-9 September 2022 for the alpaca, cashmere, mohair, and wool industries.
As the effects of climate change and market fluctuations continue to grow, it is more important than ever before to understand the impact on growers and herders at the beginning of our supply chains — their prosperity is vital for safeguarding the future of the sector and making real progress towards our sustainability goals. The virtual event will cover trends, challenges, and innovations within the four industries and how they are impacting growers and herders around the world. In turn, we will look at how the growers and herders themselves are shaping the future of the sector.
The event will welcome over 1000+ guests from around the world, including growers, processors, brokers, manufacturers, brands, NGOs, and government stakeholders invested in the natural fibres sector. As the name of the conference suggests, the focus will be to connect all actors of the supply chain, exchange knowledge and insights and work together toward reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.
The 3 live days are filled with expert speakers, recorded talks, and roundtable discussions aimed at tackling the common challenges of the alpaca, cashmere, mohair, and wool industries.
Attendees will benefit from plenty of networking opportunities including access to the virtual exhibition hall where they can connect with fibre supply chain companies, NGOs, and government organisations invested in making the natural fibre industries more sustainable.
Topics discussed during the three-day conference will be:
The event platform is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. There will be 2 sessions per day discussing the same topics with different speakers: First session (7:00-10:00 UTC) Second session (14:00-17:00 UTC).
An overview of the schedule can be viewed here: https://woolconnect.gschneider.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Schedule-Natural-Fibre-Connect-2022-1.pdf
More information and tickets about the event can be found here: https://bit.ly/NaturalFibreConnect
The Sustainable Fibre Alliance organized a three-day virtual conference this Autumn on the Sustainability of the Cashmere Sector. On the second day of the conference, four Mongolian speakers spoke on the theme of “Culture” how we can we learn from other disciplines that look at the realities of nomadic life from different angles. The Culture Panel speakers helped enlighten us by sharing their greater knowledge and understanding on how cultural photography, cultural artwork and ethnographic research are able to expose humanity’s connection to the natural world and what we can learn from pastoralists’ mentality and wisdom – their way of living that is inherited from ancient ancestors yet still so vibrant today.
P. Battulga, founder of the “EGEL” project for the study of Mongolian ethnic heritage and photography, gave his presentation titled “Transformation of nomadic life into modern design.” The report was divided into five subsections: Mobility, Colors, Numbers, Equestrian Culture and Miscellaneous. The speaker said that he was trying to give new ideas, new motivation and new ideas to professional designers and anyone who wants to develop the cashmere market in a sustainable way.
The artist T. Nurmaajav, who creates her artwork using the genre of Mongolian painting, presented fiive of her works: “Sunrise”, “Summer”, “Good Noise”, “Peace” and “Mongolian Wind”. She also talked about how she reflects the nomadic lifestyle, the general harmony of Mongolian paintings and innovative expressions in her works.
L. Jargalsaikhan, a nature photographer of birds, butterflies and insects, spoke about whether herders’ livelihoods are at a reasonable level with nature and wildlife, and how climate change and agriculture affect the balance of nature. He compared how natural degradation relates to the seasonality and attitudes of people, to the photographs of birds and animals that he took.
M.Enkhbaatar, a doctoral candidate at the Institute of History and Ethnology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, made a presentation on the topic of “Knowledge of Mongolian Shepherds about Goats”. The presentation was divided into four sections: “What is the role of goats in the herd?”, “Is it possible not to have sheep and goats in the city?”, “Responsible grazing of goats” and “Characteristics of goats”. It was also interesting to understand the difference between the Mongolian notion that “more goats destroy pastures” and simply explaining the pros and cons of goats herd.
Тогтвортой ноос ноолуурын олон улсын эвслээс ноолуурын үйлдвэрлэлд тогтвортой ханган нийлүүлэлтийн сүлжээг бий болгох зорилготой сонирхогч талуудыг оролцуулсан “Ноолуурын салбарын тогтвортой байдал” сэдэвт гурван өдрийн виртуал бага хурлыг зохион байгууллаа. Уг хурлын хоёр дахь өдөр “Өв соёл” сэдвийн хүрээнд Монголын талаас дөрвөн хүн илтгэгчээр оролцож, өөрсдийн сонгож авсан сэдвийн хүрээнд илтгэл тавьлаа. Энэ хэсгийн чиглүүлэгчээр Монгол дахь Тогтвортой ноос ноолуур эвслийн захирал, доктор Б.Батхишиг ажиллаа.
Монгол угсаатны өв соёлын судалгаа, гэрэл зургийн “ЭГЭЛ” төслийг санаачлагч П.Баттулга “Нүүдэлчин ахуйг орчин үеийн дизайнд урвуулах нь” сэдвээр илтгэл тавьсан. Энэхүү илтгэл нь Нүүдэл, Өнгө, Тооно, Адуун соёл, Элдэв гэсэн таван дэд агуулгад хуваагдсан байлаа. Илтгэгч мэргэжлийн дизайнерууд болон, ноолуурын зах зээлийг тогтвортой хөгжүүлэхийг эрмэлзэгч хэн бүхэнд шинэ санаа, шинэ сэдэл, шинэ ойлголт өгөхийг хичээсэн гэдгээ илэрхийлж байсан ба гэрэл зураг гэдэг хэдэн зуу, хэдэн мянган үгийн үнэ цэнтэй баримт тул төслийн хүрээнд авсан 80 гаруй фото зураг илүү олон зүйл өгүүлсэн хэмээн итгэж буйгаа хэлж байв.
Монгол зургийн аргаар уран бүтээлээ туурвидаг, зураач Т.Нурмаажав өөрийн “Сэтгэлд мандсан нар”, “Зун”, “Сайн чимээ”, “Амар амгалан”, “Монгол салхи” зэрэг таван бүтээлээ хурал оролцогчдод танилцуулсан. Ингэхдээ мөн л нүүдэлчин ахуй, монгол зургийн ерөнхий өнгө зохицол, зохиомжийн шинэлэг илэрхийллийг бүтээлдээ хэрхэн тусгаснаа илтгэлдээ өгүүлж байлаа.
Байгалийн тэр дундаа шувууны, эрвээхэйн, шавьжны зураг авдаг гэрэл зурагчин Л.Жаргалсайхан илтгэлдээ малчдын ахуй амьдрал байгальтай, ан амьтадтай зохистой түвшинд байж чадаж байгаа эсэх, уур амьсгалын өөрчлөлт, газар тариалан зэрэг нь байгалийн тэнцвэрт хэрхэн нөлөөлж буй талаар ярилаа. Байгалийн доройтол цаг улирлын байдалтай яаж холбогдож байгаа, хүмүүсийн хандлага зэргийг өөрийн авсан шувууд, амьтадын зурагтай жишин ярьсан юм.
Монгол Улсын Шинжлэх ухааны Академийн Түүх, угсаатны зүйн хүрээлэнгийн эрдэм шинжилгээний ажилтан, докторант М.Энхбаатар “Монгол малчдын ямаатай холбоогдох мэдлэг” сэдвээр тавьсан илтгэл мөн сонирхол татна. Уг илтгэл “Сүргийн дотор ямаа ямар үүрэгтэй вэ”, “Хоттой хонь ямаагүй байж болох уу”, “Ямаан сүргийн хариулга маллагаа”, “Ямааны онцлог шинжүүд” гэсэн дөрвөн хэсгээс бүрдэж байлаа. Монголчуудын дунд нийтлэг байдаг “Ямаа олширвол бэлчээр талхлагддаг” гэсэн ойлголтын ялгаа заагийг ойлгуулсан, ямаа хэмээх малын сайн хийгээд саар талыг энгийн ойлгомжтой талбарласан мөн л сонирхолтой байлаа.
The live portion of our first virtual conference has concluded and we want to thank the over 400 attendees and 50+ speakers who helped make this event a huge success! While the live sessions are complete, you will still be able to view the recorded sessions, explore the exhibition hall, and continue to network with the cashmere industry through 14 October.
It is not too late to purchase a ticket to gain access to the platform and view the recorded versions of the live sessions. Please visit our event website here to learn how to register: https://conference.sustainablefibre.org/virtualconference/.
On 07-09 September 2021, The Schneider Group is organising its second edition of the Wool Connect Online Grower Conference. The event will be scheduled across three days, with around 2-hour sessions each day. A wide range of speakers is scheduled to speak at the event.
Each of the three days will cover a different topic. On day one, the focus will lie on the international context for the wool industry. Here participants will hear from brands and retailers as well as NGOs and policy influencers about the future market demand and trends relevant for wool. Speakers of day one include La Rhea Pepper, CEO of Textile Exchange and Elena Schneider from The Schneider Group.
On day two, the focus will be on animal welfare. During Wool Connect 2020 animal welfare was already openly discussed. One year later, some challenges have already been tackled due to better communications along the supply chain. In this session, speakers will report about the progress made. Speakers of day two include Bridget Peachey from AWI, Südwolle Group representative Davide Marcante, Germán García Ibañez from Inditex, Heinz Zeller from Hugo Boss, Marta Maniero from Marzotto Wool Manufacturing, Paul Swan from SustainaWool, Ed Storey from WoolProducers Australia and Rebecca Picallo Gil from Four Paws, among others.
On the third and last day of Wool Connect, the session will be organised around new income streams such as carbon accounting. Mick Taylor from Landcare Australia, Stephen Wiedemann vom Integrity Ag & Environment and others will lead through this session.
Agricultural media specialist, David Cussons will be leading through the sessions together with wool communicator, Elisabeth van Delden. The goal will be to encourage interactive and engaging sessions between speakers and the audience.
Participants to the event can join all three days live via Zoom. However, all recordings will also be made available within the Wool Connect community for everyone who purchased a ticked. Registration is already available via this link. Authentico Growers receive a 50% discount, and just need to contact the organisers by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a discount code.
Buy tickets here: https://woolconnect.gschneider.com/register/wool-connect-2021/
Wool Connect is a strategic pillar of the Schneider Group’s Sustainability Strategy TOGETHER 2030. Through the online conference format and community, the Schneider Group aims to contribute to a better dialogue and consensus building along the wool supply chain.
This September the SFA will be hosting a two part conference to explore Sustainability in the Cashmere Sector. Join us from 8-11th of September for our Ulaanbaatar Conference and from 14-16th for our Virtual Conference.
Registration is now open and you can find more information on our event website: https://conference.sustainablefibre.org/
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or speaker, please contact Sarah Krueger at email@example.com.
Tuesday, 28th April 2020, Webinar, Time: 10.30 – 13:00 pm BST
With a total of 40 attendants, we heard from a wide range of perspectives about the impacts of Covid-19 on the sector and how the SFA can respond.
We are now taking expressions of interest to be part of the SFA Covid-19 Working Group. This group will be coordinated by our Chair, Chas Hubbard, and its primary task will be to assist in the development of our Covid-19 Action Plan.
The meeting also included an update on the SFA Chain or Custody and our work in Inner Mongolia.
As part of the webinar, Zara Morris-Trainor gave a presentation explaining the differences between the pastoral and farm-based systems in the context of the internationally recognized Five Freedoms framework, which form the base level for SFA’s codes of practice in animal welfare.
Mr. Ayoshi Ayongxi of the International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare (ICCAW), talked us through the requirements of the joint code of practice for cashmere goats in Inner Mongolia.
Members also shared their approach in protecting cashmere’s reputation.
For more information, visit http://www.londondesignbiennale.com
Sustainable Fibre Alliance is representing Mongolia and Cashmere with an installation at the London Design Biennale at Somerset House, London. The installation responds to the theme ‘Emotional States’.
Thu, May 23, 2019 10:00 – Sun, May 26, 2019 17:00, Blue Sky Hotel, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
A multi-stakeholder conference bringing together representatives of the cashmere supply chain and wider stakeholders to discuss current and future development of cashmere sector sustainability -Environmental, social and economic challenges, promoting long-term sustainable development and innovative cooperation.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 18.00 -21.00
Sustainable Fibre Alliance and Mongolian British Chamber of Commerce in association with the All Party Parliamentary Mongolia Group and OYUNA successfully organised “Mongolian Cashmere” reception in the Jubilee Room in Parliament of Westminster Hall to promote Mongolian sustainable cashmere industry on 11 September 2018.