MNFPUG’s “Sustainable Cashmere", a 19 years long ethical journey ... ♥

Sustainable Cashmere's milestones

Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) to Mongolia begun financing aid and development projects to support Nomadic Herder Households and Mongolia’s Rural population : more than CHF 136 million have been invested to date !

Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) to Mongolia launches its innovative “Pasture User Groups of Herders” (PUGs) approach.

Swiss Development Cooperation – SDC’s “Responsible Nomads Code of Best Herding Practice” is approved by the Mongolian Government.

Swiss Development Cooperation SDC launches the Green Gold project, to train Mongolian Pasture User Groups of Herders (PUGs) to Sustainable Herding;  “Sustainability Certification” of Mongolian Camel, Baby Camel, Blue Yak (and shortly thereafter also Cashmere) fibers are first awarded to participating cooperatives which matched expected Rangeland Management practice and results.

European Union’s DEVCO Cooperation also launches aid programs aiming to establish Sustainable Production in Mongolia; MNFPUG currently is managing partner (on the fields) to DEVCO’s Switch Asia STeP EcoLab project.

Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) groups Mongolian Pasture User Groups of Herders (PUGs) and Nomadic Herder Cooperatives into a National Union, now called “Mongolian National Federation of Pasture User Groups of Herders” Union (MNFPUG).

  • First “Mongolian National Federation of Pasture User Groups of Herders” Union (MNFPUG) national conference;
  • First Rangeland Management sublaw (at regional level) approved;
  • Mongolian Yak festival organized
  • MNFPUG Initiator’s meeting was held in 18 February and the Main Constitution was formulated and adopted.
  • Periodic National Rangeland Health Report introduced by Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) to Mongolia.

MNFPUG wins Milan EXPO 2015 Award for Sustainability !

MNFPUG’s Sustainable Management of grazing land in Mongolia, won EXPO 2015 Award as example of best practices in food security, among more than 740 proposals entered in an international competition.

  • MNFPUG started implementing rangeland management component of UNDP 301 project;
  • A three tired Rangeland monitoring survey under the project “Assessment of the resilience of pasture in pre-urban  areas” conducted;
  • Management of Aimag (Regions) and Soum (Provinces) level activities of the Swiss SDC’s Green Gold Project expanded to 20 Soums of Khuvsgul, Umnugobi, Uvurkhangai, Dornod aimags.
  • Mandated with implementation and up scaling of SDC Green Gold-Animal Health project best practices of PUG RUA approach to additional 11 new Aimags and consolidation of Responsible Nomads Best Herding Practices in “old” 7 Aimags;
  • MNFPUG Second National Rangeland Conference held;
  • MOU of cooperation for Sustainable Herding practice was signed with 18 Aimag Governors;
  • A nation-wide survey was organized to establish National Database of  Nomadic Herder households through 18 Aimag
  • MNFPUG contributed to the development of State Transition Models of Mongolian Rangeland.

Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) launches an innovative Micro-Financing project for supporting Mongolian Nomadic Herder Cooperatives’ Sustainable development.

Swiss Develpmen Cooperation (SDC) funds the setup of a Block-Chain based Traceability System engineered by an European IT firm, for End-customers to verify MNFPUG’s Cashmere and Noble Fibers’ truly Sustainable origin.

Mr. Francesco Saldarini, MNFPUG’s managing partner for branding Mongolian Sustainable Cashmere, is invited by the Mongolian Government to present the launch of the “Mongolian Noble Fiber” standard (environmental and social protection code of practice for the local Cashmere Industry) financed by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (GoJ’s Cooperation).

Mr. Saldarini speaks shortly after H.E. Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, Prime Minister of Mongolia, stressing out the importance of the new MNF Standard withing the larger frame of Mongolia’s unique and priceless truly Sustainable Cashmere sector, we’re all working hard to protect.

MNFPUG and Mr. Francesco Saldarini, “Cashmere Flakes” patent inventor, enter into a formal J.V. for establishing MNFPUG’s “Sustainable Cashmere Market Place”.

The new-company will :

  • brand internationally Mongolian Sustainable Cashmere,
  • manage MNFPUG’s Cashmere and other Noble Fibers’ Geographical Indication (GI) certifications,
  • trade internationally, on exclusive basis, MNFPUG’s precious Sustainable Fibers produced by affiliated “Pastor User groups” which  engage to Sustainable “Responsible Nomads” Best Herding practice.

MNFPUG’s “Sustainable Cashmere Market Place” will pay Nomadic Herder Cooperatives a “Fair-Trade” premium price for their Sustainable production, and it’ll reinvest its profits onto Social Projects at member Aimags and PUGs.

Intellectual Property Office of Mongolia (IPOM) grants to MNFPUG the first-ever, and yet only, Protected Geographical Indication of Origin (PGI) certifications for its “Sustainable Cashmere of Mongolia PGI”.

MNFPUG’s GI certifications cover Mongolia’s beige, gray and black Sustainable Cashmere fiber.

GIs are a powerful tool for branding unique products, thanks also to the obligation to publicly publish certified products’ code of production which allow end consumers full and open information for them to appreciate their buying.

No other Cashmere in the world has ever obtained an official GI certification !

The Embassy of the United States in Mongolia and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) officially endorse MNFPUG Union to the Government of Mongolia as the “focus stakeholder” for the Cashmere Sector in Mongolia !

USAID’s and US Ministry of Trade – USTR’s report highlight the uniqueness and importance of MNFPUG’s Responsible Nomads Code of Best Herding Practice, GI certifications, and Block-Chain based Traceability System, as key drivers for a Sustainable Development of the Mongolian Cashmere Sector.

Intellectual Property Office of Mongolia (IPOM) grants to MNFPUG a Protected Geographical Indication of Origin (PGI) certification also for White Sustainable Cashmere of Mongolia.

White Cashmere is the finest and most precious Cashmere Fiber, notably used for spinning luxury yarn.

The Italian and Mongolian Governments officially endorse MNFPUG & Mr. Saldarini’s committment to establish a truly ethich and transparent Sustainable Cashmere Chain of Value to preserve Mongolia’s rangeland and millenary Nomadic Traditions.

The Government Economic and Technical bilateral Commission highlights the strategic importance of the project for both Countries.

Formal talks, via also the EU Council President’s, are begun to validate MNFPUG’s Mongolia Certifications of Origin based on EU GIs Regulation.

The proceeding will allow European End-consumers to be officially ensured the authenticity and the (also ethical) value of Cashmere product they’re buying.

The APUA and SPUA approach, has been the key to MNFPUG’s successful story.

MNFPUG Union is Mongolia’s officiale and sole Sustainable Cashmere sector development partner, protecting and representing the interests of herders and PUGs, which bring together local Nomadic Herders.

Our focus is to provide Nomadic Herder Cooperatives marketing and extension services that match Western Global Luxury brands need, with basic needs of herder households, as well as to implement pasture management nation-wide.

MNFPUG’s new Sustainable Cashmere Market Place (the Union’s trading organization) will also trade directly to western buyers Nomadic Herder Cooperatives’ noble fibers (i.e. Cashmere, Camel, Baby Camel, Yak) , allowing Nomadic Households a truly Ethical and Fair Trade income.

MNFPUG’s profit will be reinvested in social projects at participating Aimag (Province)s and PUGs.

Based on the infrastructure established under the project, including the monitoring of pastureland conditions, herder organizations (PUGs, SPUA, APUA, and Cooperatives), pastureland use agreements, a raw material supply network, and a digital animal health database and traceability system, the Green Gold Animal Health Project developed the Responsible Nomads livestock raw material Traceability System since 2018.

The value of raw materials and herder incomes increase when registering cooperatives that supply raw materials in the Responsible Nomads traceability system, which certifies to end- consumers the Sustainable Origin and Quality of yak wool, young camel wool, cashmere, livestock, meat, and milk.

To make it short :

To make it short :

Mongolia, whose Economy rely on the mineral, agricultural & cashmere sectors is a strategic allied to the EU and the USA, due also to geopolitical reasons.
Forty percent of the world-wide Cashmere Fiber production comes from Mongolia, and the Cashmere sector generates the second GDP value for the Mongolian economy.

“Mongolian National Federation of Pasture User Groups of Herders” Union (NFPUG) represents 70% of Mongolian Rural population or 1/3 of total Mongolian population, whose cooperatives are grouped into the Union and produce 70% of Mongolian Cashmere Fiber, or 28% of the global world-wide production !

MNFPUG is proud of supporting Mongolia, the Mongolian Government, and – as far as we’re directly concerned about – all of our 92.000+ Nomadic Rural Households … ♥