MSA Partner with Textile Exchange to Launch the Responsible Mohair Standard
09 April 2019
The Launch of the Responsible Mohair Standard (RMS)
South Africa takes pride in being the world leader in mohair production and shows its commitment to the mohair industry through the development of a sustainable and ethical mohair standard. Mohair South Africa partnered with Textile Exchange, a global non-profit organisation that specialises in intricately developing standards based on best practices, animal and social welfare.
Textile Exchange, whose members include luxury brands and retailers from around the world, have worked closely with Mohair South Africa and the local mohair industry, to develop a standard that would assist the global mohair value chain to ensure responsible sourcing at all levels.
On the 17th March 2020, the Responsible Mohair Standard (RMS) was officially Launched, opening up a world of opportunity for the future of the mohair industry. Sustainability is a key factor in any industry and is one that has always played a vital role in the South African mohair industry. Over a decade ago, in 2009, the Sustainable Mohair Production Guidelines were introduced to the industry and saw the adoption of around 97% of South African mohair farmers. The partnership with Textile Exchange, and a renewed focus on a sustainable and ethical industry, allowed for a natural progression for the SA mohair industry to introduce a global standard.
The RMS was developed with keen pointers from our market, to ensure farming practices meet the progressive sustainability requirements of brands and retailers globally.
Textile Exchange released a statement noting that the Responsible Mohair Standard (RMS) follows the model of the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), one of the world’s most widely adopted standards for wool production. “The newly released Responsible Mohair Standard verifies and identifies mohair produced in farming systems that respects animal welfare and the environment. The RMS applies a strong assurance system to perform regular audits of the farms and to track the material to the final product. The RMS is designed to ensure that animal welfare outcomes are delivered and that the goats are humanely treated, healthy, and well cared for,” stated Hanna Denes, Senior Manager of Standards at Textile Exchange.
“The Mohair partnership with Textile Exchange, the support of global brands & retailers, and the progressive approach of the South African Mohair industry will ensure the long-term growth and improvement of the sector. With sustainability being our core focus, we believe that shared knowledge and a vigorous commitment to continuous improvement are crucial ingredients for the future success of the industry. For us, sustainability is considered a journey, which we will continue to grow and improve on” commented Humphreys, General Manager of Mohair South Africa.
The Responsible Mohair Standard aims to provide the industry with the tools to recognise the best practices of farmers and to ensure that mohair comes from farms with an advanced approach to land management, animal welfare, and social responsibility. Beyond the farm, it also aims to provide a system of traceability throughout the entire value chain – from the farm to the finished product.
Mohair producers can apply for RMS certification through their brokers. The brokers will assign accredited auditors that will visit their farms and measure their practices against the principles set out in the RMS. If the producer passes the audit, they will receive RMS status on the mohair they produce and sell at official mohair auctions in Port Elizabeth.
“The RMS helps everyone identify areas of growth on their farms and in their businesses. The basis that everyone’s facilities and practices need to adhere to a minimum standard is an outstanding idea and we support it whole-heartedly” said Marx Strydom, mohair producer from the Jansenville region in the Eastern Cape. “Our journey is by no means over, and we now enter into a whole new chapter to drive the RMS through our local value chains so that consumers can access responsibly produced products easily and with confidence” concluded Humphreys.
For more information, visit: www.responsiblemohair.org
The Mohair SA team