45 of 2016

Newsletter No.45      08 December 2016

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Winners of Mohair Trophy announced

The 2016 winners of the Mohair Trophy for the excellent quality of their mohair production have been selected. They are F E Colborne & Sons, which won the Mohair Trophy for the tenth time since the establishment of the Trophy, while P H Viljoen and Neil Colborne won second and third place respectively. The winners were awarded a silver plate, created by Italian silversmith Bandimarte Guscelli.

The Mohair Trophy, an annual competition established in 1970 to select and award the finest quality mohair fibre, is sponsored by the luxury Italian designer group, Ermenegildo Zegna and Mohair South Africa, a non-profit organisation representing the entire mohair industry.

Ermenegildo Zegna has once again reaffirmed the significance of the superior quality of raw materials by purchasing the top three winning bales of the 2016 edition and has demonstrated its ongoing support of South African mohair, encouraging producers to deliver the highest standards of kid mohair fibres.

Starting with the 45th anniversary edition, an exclusive special auction was established for the mohair lots participating in the Trophy. The peculiarity of this new auction is that the bales are sold anonymously and the identity of the farmer is announced only upon its conclusion.

During the auction this year, a mohair lot was sold at a price corresponding to the highest price ever paid for kid mohair. It was revealed only after the awarding ceremony that the record-breaking lot was actually the winning bale from the 46th Mohair Trophy, signalling that both the judges and the market independently deemed the lot to be the best.

Lanificio Ermenegildo Zegna, the heart and soul of the Zegna Group, commits to buying the winning lots, including the record-breaking lot and the second and third place Trophy winners. Located in Trivero, in Northern Italy, the Lanificio then transforms these lots into the exclusive, limited edition fabric known as ‘Mohair Trophy Selection’, an example of the excellence and quality the group stands for.

“We’ve been celebrating the best quality mohair since 1970 and it is always a pleasure to award the efforts and achievements of the mohair growers,” said Paolo Zegna, chairman of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, who attended the intimate gala dinner. “The trophy programme is a testament of the importance of the mohair industry, as well as the commitment of our group to maintain the high qualitative standards of the raw materials we use for our most precious fabrics, such as wool, mohair, cashmere, vicuna and silk. On behalf of the entire group, I extend my congratulations to the winners and sincerely thank all the participants to whom I encourage to continue their hard work in targeting excellence.”

“It is an accolade for South Africa and the South African mohair industry to be recognised as a partner by a brand such as Ermenegildo Zegna. South Africa prides itself on producing the best mohair in the world, delivered by top quality South African mohair farmers. The relationship with
Ermenegildo Zegna has been key in the positioning of the South African mohair brand as a reputable supplier of top quality mohair to the world.

We extend our personal gratitude to Zegna for his support over the last forty plus years and we hope that we can continue with this collaboration for many years to come. Congratulations to the farmers for the excellent quality mohair, which they produce, the efforts they put into producing this exquisite fibre for Zegna to tailor top class garments for their stores across the world,” said Deon Saayman, MD of Mohair South Africa.

Some feedback from Martin Viljoen, who is involved in the Cape Mohair Value Chain Cluster (CMVCC)….re:- article published in last week’s newsletter.

#SharetheBay: There’s a rich history behind SA’s ‘diamond fibre’ industry By Sindy Peters

  1. Difference between Emerging Farmers and Upcoming Farmers?
    1. Emerging Farmers are they BBBEE Farmers? Upcoming Farmers then the not so well established ones?
  2. The statement that the Emerging Farmers producing 629 tonne of mohair valued at R 41 million in 2014
    1. At the 2014 market price of R 176 / kg for the greasy mohair the 629 tonne would have been worth R 111 million?
    2. Or 629 tonne at value of R 41 million is R 65 per tonne which was about 35% of market value
    3. Also 629 tonne from Emerging Farmers (if this BBBEE farmers) gives them based on total local production of 2 300 ton in 2014, a total share of 27% which is too high

We are working closely with SAMIL Natural Fibres (Pty) Ltd and SAMIL Farming (Pty) Ltd who are invested in BBBEE farming development and would like to get involved with any BBBEE development project

Believe the GREEN MOHAIR Project is starting in the Somerset East Industrial Park also involved with about 14 BBBEE farming initiatives

Improve skills in fashion designing sector: NEPC


With an aim to improve Nigeria’s skill deficiency, especially in the fashion designing sector and to aid its participation in the extended African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Olusegun Awolowo, the executive director of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) said that the agency will continue its effort to ensure that nation’s skill is enhanced.

Awolowo was in Lagos to attend the graduation ceremony at the agency that has trained 75 candidates in fashion designing. AGOA is a legislation signed by US Congress in May 2000, designed to assist economies of sub-Saharan Africa and improve economic relations between the United States and the region.

Concerned over the impact of inadequate skills development on the country’s economic growth, Awolowo said that the treaty which has been extended till 2025 will assist in fixing the country’s skills deficiency.

“We need to bridge skills deficit in Nigeria. Everywhere you go there are jobs but there are no skills to meet up with it. This also is the situation in the fashion industry. Our main goal is to promote fashion design. But the most important thing first is to scale up production by increasing capacity and that is where we are right now,” said Awolowo, adding that 25 of the trained candidates were given automatic employment through a Public-Private Partnership programme.

Stressing on the need for production hubs that will help the country to meet the demand and compete with other countries, he said, “Currently there are not enough hubs where shirts of high quality and quantity can be made. Until we start building production hubs where we can manufacture these things in big quantity and quality, we may not be able to compete internationally.”

Fashion industry lacks capacity to meet the increasing demand and efforts should be put to make fashion sector lead government’s non oil revenue initiative, said Omoyemi Akerele, founder and artistic director of Style House. Akerele has also sought the help of Nigerians in building the sector and find a way to retain the country’s huge import of fashion products.

Awolowo further said that the council is also working towards revamping the cotton industry to complement other sectors.

Fobre2Fashion

Kenyan government plans credit facility to cotton farmers

In a bid to revive its ailing cotton textile industry, the Kenyan government is planning to provide training and credit facilities to cotton growers. This initiative comes as the manufacturers of Kenya are counting on the growth of apparel exports to US by 5 per cent after the extension of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for a period of 10 years.

Post AGOA extension, Kenyan farmers have begun sowing seeds bought from Israel instead of recycling seeds. This is likely to nearly double Kenya’s cotton production for next year in comparison to current year.

The government has taken the initiative with a strong demand for lint from domestic mills and also to meet the needs of supply manufacturers exporting clothing and textiles to the US under a preferential trade deal, according to a Bloomberg report.

To attract the global export market, Kenyan government has begun modernisation of Eldoret-based Rivatex textile factory. Earlier this year, Rivatex had received a Sh3 billion loan from the government of India through the Exim Bank to buy a modern textile machine for the factory.

East Africa could potentially export garments worth as much as $3 billion annually by 2025, according to a 2015 McKinsey report. Affordable electricity and cheap labour make Kenya and Ethiopia attractive to investors, according to the report.

In 2015, East Africa’s biggest economy had exported clothing valued at $380 million. Brands such as Puma, Walmart, JC Penny, H&M source some of their garments from Kenyan Export Processing Zones, which employ over 66,000 people.

Meanwhile, the regional East African Community bloc is working to revamp the domestic garment market by banning secondhand import of clothes at the end of 2018.

South Africa and Malawi: Hemp Permitting

South Africa was the first country on the continent to legalise hemp production, but it has yet to issue a commercial permit. While South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council has tested hemp varieties suited to the climate (from European cultivars) and labelled hemp as an “agricultural crop”, efforts to amend legislation are underway, meanwhile, all hemp must still be imported. The Department of Health controls the issuing of research permits, which involves applying to possess a ‘narcotic drug’. Thus there are no commercial farms yet in South Africa despite hemp having no psychoactive component. Sectors that have been identified as suitable for South Africa include:

  • Agri-fibres for car parts (dashboards, door panels etc.)
  • Eco-friendly paper
  • Natural cement, bricks and insulation for housing
  • Animal bedding
  • Nutrition from the essential fatty-acid rich seeds

First Hemp House constructed in South Africa

Job creation will be a natural spin-off from the introduction of this new industry. In essence, hemp could help alleviate three of South Africa’s most pressing issues:

  • Housing
  • Malnourishment
  • Job creation

The National Agri-fibre Initiative (NAFI) has been launched to boost the agri-fibre industry in South Africa and is making headway with regard to creating awareness and lobbying support for the fledgling industry. Hemporium, located in Cape Town, has been importing and developing hemp products in South Africa for around fifteen years. They collaborated with partners on three year hemp trials in Western Cape that proved very successful in showing cultivar behaviour and production. Similarly, Malawi permitted Invegrow to conduct research trials in November 2015; their vision for the future of hemp cultivation is, by December 2016, the Malawian government and Invegrow hope to begin commercial hemp production, a boon for the Malawian people and their economy. Since Malawi is predominantly agricultural based it stands to benefit considerably from hemp as a new cash crop by creating raw materials for export or value-added products. However, it is vital that a regional market is developed to bring hemp out of the ‘niche’ market and into the mainstream.

In Malawi, the Dangerous Drugs Act does not distinguish between Cannabis (‘Indian hemp’ or ‘chamba’) and industrial hemp. Thus terminology proves to be a major challenge. However, the Act does in fact indicate products from Cannabis could be produced under a licence, such as with morphine and could be imported for consumers as food, for example. Since many other countries worldwide have amended their definitions, including the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, there are many examples to draw from. This legislative procedure will take time but in the meantime trials will be conducted to test THC levels, cultivars and markets. Trials started in 2015 with licences from the Ministry of Agriculture and Health with the project attracting interest from the highest office in the country, the Office of the President & Cabinet.

Source: Hemp Edification

Did you know…..

Levi got its distinctive 501 label from the storage lot number it was assigned in 1890. It just stuck.

Levi’s once made the singer Bing Crosby an all-denim tuxedo after he was turned away from a hotel for wearing jeans

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