World renowned cashmere brands discuss sustainability with Mongolian herdersEconomy | Agriculture
Bayarkhongor and Arkhangai, 29 October 2020 - The Mongolian Sustainable Cashmere Platform at the United Nations Development Programme Mongolia has conducted series of innovative virtual meetings straight from the steppes, between Mongolian herders and sustainability representatives from global level luxury cashmere brands on October 19-23.
Mongolian herders from Shinejinst soum, Bayankhongor aimag and Ikh-Tamir soum of Arkhangai aimag virtually met with the representatives of world-renowned luxury cashmere brands including Hugo Boss, Kering Group, Burberry and Schneider, an extraordinary step, bridging most important stakeholders of the cashmere value chain directly.
The parties discussed the impact of COVID-19 on herder households’ incomes and livelihoods, challenges of the summer droughts, winter preparation and the next cashmere season as well as herders’ understanding about sustainability practices, market prices, fiber demand and production levels.
During the meetings, the representatives of the cashmere brands acknowledged and complimented the value of Mongolian cashmere as a luxury fiber, while the herders shared their efforts toward improving sustainable practices, such as rangeland protection by reducing the number of livestock, photo monitoring of pastureland use and restoration, good animal husbandry, and improving livestock product quality, rather than quantity, through breeding programs.
Mongolian herders witnessed a 50% plunge of raw cashmere prices due to the COVID-19 impact on the global demand for cashmere fiber, which was further exacerbated by summer droughts in south western Mongolia. The herders unanimously acknowledged the urgent need to reduce the number of livestock and improve the rangeland management.
Sustainable cashmere projects and initiatives by Sustainable Fiber Alliance, Green Gold Animal Health project, AVSF and other partner organizations are instrumental in herders’ self-organization, governance, awareness and resolution towards sustainable practices and behavioral change.
The meeting was initiated and co-organized under the Mongolian Sustainable Cashmere Platform (MSCP) managed by UNDP Mongolia in collaboration with UNDP’s ENSURE project (financed by GEF), Sustainable Fiber Alliance, National Federation of Pasture User Groups and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s Green Gold Animal Health Project.
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