What does it mean to be an SFA Member?
SFA Members pay an annual subscription fee which provides them exclusive access to influence and benefit from the SFA Cashmere Standard. At present, SFA members can only make general marketing claims about supporting our work in Mongolia and China. With consumer awareness about sustainability on the rise, SFA membership also demonstrates your company’s commitment to sustainable cashmere supply chain. SFA Members cannot currently make product-based claims regarding the content of SFA-Certified fibre in their products. This is because SFA is still testing our chain of custody system, so no product-based claims are currently allowed.
If I have a Certificate of Membership, does this mean I am SFA-Certified?
No. A Certificate of Membership is proof of your status as a member of the SFA. It does not represent certification against the SFA Cashmere Standard. Your Certificate of Membership should not be used in a way that implies you are accredited by SFA, as this would represent a violation of our Claims Framework.
For first-stage processing plants (scouring and dehairing) that are SFA Members, it is possible to hold Certificate of Membership and a Certificate of Accreditation following an independent assessment against the requirements of the Clean Fibre Processing Code of Practice.
How does my company become SFA-certified?
So far we offer accreditation to herder organisations and first-stage processors (scouring and dehairing of cashmere fibre). Herders are certified against the SFA Animal Husbandry Code of Practice and the SFA Rangeland Stewardship Code of Practice, while processors are certified against the SFA Clean Fibre Processing Code of Practice. To become SFA accredited, herder organisations and processing plants must be audited by an independent assessment team.
In 2020, accreditation is only available in Mongolia. From 2021, we hope to offer accreditation to goat farms and first-stage processors in China. Please contact us if you are a herder organisation or cashmere processing plant who is interested in becoming SFA accredited.
How do I find out which cashmere producers are SFA-Certified?
SFA members can visit the SFA Register for a list of herder organisations and processors that have been audited and certified against the SFA Cashmere Standard, as well as those that have signed up to the Register and have committed to being assessed in the following year. The SFA Register is a benefit of membership and not available to the general public.
Our suppliers are members of the SFA. If we apply for membership, can we use hang-tags with the SFA logo on our cashmere products?
We understand how important it is to promote SFA Membership and we will be delighted to see the SFA logo on products in the near future! However, we are still testing our chain of custody system so product tags are not currently being issued. To protect the credibility of the SFA Standard system, it is vital that SFA members do not make product claims until a chain of custody is in place.
We are piloting our chain of custody model in 2020 and hope to roll this out on a larger scale in 2021. In the meantime, SFA Members can use logos and agreed phrasing on websites and documents, but not on product tags. We recognise the importance of making product claims and developing our chain of custody is one of our key priorities.
What claims can we make as an SFA Member?
You can start making claims as soon as your SFA membership has been approved. General marketing claims can be used by all members on your website and marketing materials to demonstrate your support of the SFA’s mission and our work on the ground to improve the sustainability of cashmere. Permitted claim statements include:
“We (or name of the organisation) is/are a proud member of the Sustainable Fibre Alliance/SFA”
“We (or name of the organisation) are/is committed to improving cashmere production practices globally with the Sustainable Fibre Alliance/SFA.”
“We (or name of the organisation) is/are member of the Sustainable Fibre Alliance and supports the responsible production of cashmere. The SFA works with herding communities and domestic industry, providing training in rangeland stewardship, animal welfare and clean fibre processing. With the SFA Cashmere Standard, we promote production practices that are better for people, animals and the environment to help ensure the long-term viability of the cashmere sector”.
Detailed information about claims allowed for SFA members is outlined in the SFA Claims Framework. Please contact us if you have any queries about the claims you can make related to your membership.