3 years ago

Opportunity Issue 91 - Sept-Oct-2019

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MANUFACTURING Guidance for SA furniture manufacturers Industry commits to finalising Furniture Industry Master Plan by end-2019 The South African furniture manufacturing industry will soon be guided by an industry master plan, which will focus on the development and support of the local industry. The Furniture Industry Master Plan (FIMP) will set clear guidelines and targets for the furniture manufacturing industry and guide public sector procurement as part of the government’s efforts to support and stimulate the industry. “At the recent Furniture Sector Forum, the industry agreed to work with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to create the Master Plan before the end March 2020. This process will include industry-wide consultation with manufacturers, labour unions, government, raw material suppliers and buyers, ranging from the retail sector to architects, interior designers and property developers,” says Bernadette Isaacs, Chief Operating Officer of the South Africa Furniture Initiative (SAFI). Isaacs explains that many large manufacturing industries, including the textile and automotive manufacturing industries, have a master plan that was co-created by the DTI and industry representatives. The furniture manufacturing industry contributes approximately 1% to the country’s gross domestic product and it employs in excess of 26 000 people. “A Master Plan brings together all the policy instruments and government incentives that are available to a manufacturer and it combines that with clear manufacturing targets and timelines. This in turn creates a stable environment for manufacturers to invest in their plants and equipment and plan for future export contracts.” SAFI, the DTI and Proudly South African also agreed to combine their resources and initiatives to drive and monitor local government procurement towards South African furniture manufacturers. “By our estimates, there is between R5 billion and R8 billion available annually, if the retail, corporate, government departments, state-owned enterprises, and institutions such as hospitals, schools and libraries purchase their furniture from South African suppliers. “We believe that the political will exists, and we will do everything in our power to assist with the facilitation of translating the buy local commitments made by the public and private sector into tangible orders for the local manufacturing industry,” says Isaacs. More information on SAFI and the furniture industry in South Africa is available at 30 |

A sustainable and superior product SAMIL Natural Fibres is at the forefront of mohair production for the world market PROFILE Formed in 1992 as a mohair trader and processor, South African Mohair Industries Limited (SAMIL) has set its sights far beyond this activity to be the link between mohair producers, processors and consumers. The company’s vision is to be an innovative South African company specialising in the production and processing of natural fibres, as well as speciality spun yarns. Like all business based on agriculture, the mohair industry has come under pressure from the ongoing drought. Production of mohair in South Africa has declined from a high of 4.5 million kgs in 2002 to an average production of between 2 and 2.5 million kgs over the last five years. “In fact,” comments CEO Michael Brosnahan, “We are predicting that mohair production again this year will be not more than 2.3 million kgs. However, we remain extremely positive about the mohair industry in South Africa. Though the production is low it still remains highly sought after by the international fashion world. The main markets are Italy, China and Japan, though Taiwan and Korea have been gathering momentum in recent years.” South Africa lies at the very centre of the global mohair industry, producing in excess of 50% of the world’s greasy mohair. Just as importantly, SA carries out the initial washing (scouring), and combing of close to 80% of the global production of greasy mohair. “There are between 900 to 1000 mohair farms in SA and the number of people dependent on the industry number in excess of 30 000,” says Brosnahan. “There are definitely opportunities for entrepreneurs to get involved with the mohair industry —particularly in conjunction with Samil Farming. I must state though that the current drought imposes severe limitations on how many goats the land can provide for.” Mohair is the epitome of a sustainable product. It comes from the gentle, charismatic, Angora goat which thrives in the Karoo and feeds off the semi-desert vegetation, although the ongoing drought necessitates the provision of supplemental feed. Angoras are shorn twice a year and are not harmed in any way during this process. “It is a natural, renewable, resource, taking nothing from the earth and leaving nothing behind – as, being a pure natural fibre, it is fully biodegradable,” says Brosnahan. What does the ANGELA project hope to achieve? To ensure the long-term sustainability of the angora breed, the long-term genetics project ANGELA was set up in 2014, specifically to breed and develop the best possible goat for the industry. Situated in the heart of the Karoo, ANGELA was funded by a donation from the now retired ex-chairman and owner of Samil Natural Fibres, Mr Francis Patthey. “ANGELA is gathering scientific data on breeding genetics over a span of 20 years, and the results of the project will be made available to the industry free of charge, with the progeny of ANGELA sold to any interested breeder,” says Brosnahan. The aspects of breeding focused on include, among others: • Kidding rates 1. Measures the number of ewes (female goats), that carry their unborn kid to actual birth 2. The number of ewes giving birth to twins 3. The survival rate of kids born • Micronaire value, (fineness), of hair produced as well as the style (curliness) • Weight of hair shorn (produced) per goat per shearing. “Through its involvement in all aspects of the industry, SAMIL’s aim is to provide a sustainable, affordable, superior quality product to the world, showcasing not only the product but also the industry, country of origin and individuals participating in the production of the fibre. “We are a dynamic and innovative team that embraces change and progress and we anticipate a strong and bright future,” Brosnahan concludes. Contact details Tel: +27 11 486 3430 Email: Website: | 31

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