Mohair’s prospects are looking up

SAMIL CEO Michael Brosnahan discusses how sustainability is a core value for the mohair industry, and high standards are ensuring animal welfare.

What are the main planks of SAMIL’s sustainability policy?

Our core values are honesty and integrity which translate into looking after our small piece of the world and everything and everybody in it. To this end, everything we do is questioned as to whether it will have a detrimental effect on our environment or our people, whether it be how we farm our goats on the land or how we process the material in our factories.

We only use chemicals that have been certified by OEKO-TEX or an equivalent certification proving that they cause no harm to humans or animals. We have created a work environment on our farms and in our factories and offices where all employees are viewed as assets and are treated as such.

SAMIL CEO Michael Brosnahan
How can more jobs be created in the mohair industry?

More jobs in the mohair industry can really only be created by creating awareness of this wonderful fibre around the world. The price of mohair limits its general use so the main end uses are high-fashion items with exclusive big-name brands.

Are your farmers working on projects to protect the land?

Our farmers are not working on “projects” to protect the land – this is a constant part of everyday life on the farms.

The farmer needs to protect his livelihood, not just for himself but for his children and his children’s children. Many of our Angora farmers have been farming goats on the land for more than 100 years, some into the second and third generation.

What is the Responsible Mohair Standard? Has its introduction had the desired effect?

The Responsible Mohair Standard or RMS is an international voluntary standard that addresses animal welfare on goat farms as well as managing the “chain of custody” of mohair from the certified farms through to the final products purchased by the consumer. The key values of RMS are:

    • protecting animal welfare
    • regenerative agriculture
    • social responsibility
    • traceability

Its introduction has definitely had the desired effect – mohair is once again globally desired which helps to protect the more than 30 000 people employed in the industry in South Africa.

Do you see growth prospects for mohair globally?

There are no doubt growth prospects for mohair globally as it is such a versatile fibre. We have to strike a balance, though, between the price that the farmer needs to ensure his mohair clip is an economic product to farm and the price that the consumer is prepared to pay for mohair products in the marketplace.

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