Wed, Feb 8, 2023 7:50 PM

Cashmere comeback


Staff reporter

New Zealand Cashmere have received the backing of the Government for ‘Sustainably Beautiful’ a project focussing on restarting the cashmere industry.

The three- year project led by New Zealand Cashmere has received a $900,000 government contribution to be distributed throughout the project through the Ministry for Primary Industries Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund.

The project will assist famers with advice and support to enable those interested to enter the industry in a way that they can sustainably farm cashmere producing goats within their existing farm systems.

Globally the cashmere fibre industry is valued at $2 billion and has a strong, long-term global demand at the top end of the luxury fibre market. The fibre is not a commodity fibre and historically returns between $110-$150 per kilogram in New Zealand.

New Zealand Cashmere is interested in hearing from farmers who are wanting to take part in the establishment of herds as part of their farm systems. It is not expected that farmers will go 100% into goats; for some farmers, it might be that the goats supplemented the shearing costs of their crossbred sheep.

Most farmers have only had dealt with feral goats and commercial goats are very different to feral goats. Commercial goats are both a low-input stock class and low-cost to get into. There are many benefits of introducing goats into farm systems such as improved pasture utilisation, improvement in clover cover -which benefits other stock classes. Goats are also a good form of biological weed control which reduces the use and cost of chemical sprays.

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