John Lewis & Partners plans to fund a three-year program run by the Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA), to support the expansion of the SFA’s new Cashmere Standard from Mongolia to the Inner Mongolia region of China.
Climate change and increased global demand for cashmere are putting pressure on the fragile ecosystems the cashmere industry relies upon. In response to this, a global standard has been developed by the SFA to promote best practice in land management, animal welfare, fibre processing and supply chain transparency, ensuring the long-term viability of the cashmere sector.
This work will protect the welfare of the goats, the land and the livelihoods of thousands of families who are dependent upon the production of cashmere fibres
John Lewis is funding the training of 420 herders in Inner Mongolia, on the global standard. Training will be provided by a leading animal welfare NGO, the International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare (ICCAW), together with experts from a local agricultural university. Once the herders have completed their training, they will carry out self-assessments against the requirements of the Standard and undergo independent farm inspections before being given SFA accreditation.
In the first year, the program will focus on animal welfare, and then it will be expanded to cover the protection of biodiversity and how to secure herder livelihoods in the long term.