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Industry leaders attended CASHMERE WORLD as China sets the stage for the global Cashmere business
FNA | 16 December 2010

Last month marked the successful launch of CASHMERE WORLD, the only trade fair dedicated exclusively to the whole supply chain of the global cashmere industry.  It was the first-ever event of its kind organised by UBM, the leading international trade fair organiser in Asia, together with the CFNA (China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce & Animal By-Products).
The fair saw international participation from key cashmere supplying regions including Afghanistan, China, India, Mongolia and Nepal as well as cashmere importers from France, Hong Kong, Italy, Russia, Sweden, and the UK. Exhibiting were leading cashmere brands including Consinee, Erdos Group, Gobi, Snow Lotus, Springair, Viction, Zhongyin.

CASHMERE WORLD 2010 also rolled out two very well-attended programmes - Cashmere Quality Forum and Sustainable Conference - which involved key representatives from CFNA’s Cashmere Division, Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturer’s Institute, the Italian Trade Commission and the Mongolian Parliament as well as Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), Intertek and Huntsman Textile Effects.

“We are pleased with the results of Cashmere World,” said Perrine Ardouin, Event Director of UBM Asia.  “It attracted the right kind of attendees – focused buyers who were serious about doing business with experienced cashmere suppliers across the supply chain.  Over the event’s 3 days it became clear that fair is well-positioned to become the definitive meeting place for global cashmere professionals.”

 “My first impression is that there are high quality products here at Cashmere World,” observed buyer Mr. Daniel S. Dunham, Manager of US-based Cabelas.

Operational Manager of leading French retailers Groupe Beaumanoir, Mr. Umesh Mirchandani, chose Cashmere World for his first ever cashmere-buying trip in China.  “I found three or four potential suppliers in the first 30 minutes of my visit. My merchandising team have since contacted the suppliers to establish new developments with them.”

Likewise for EastMax Fashion Ltd, the buying office of luxury brand Max Mara.  The company’s managing director Ms Alessandra Cocchi found 2 new cashmere manufacturers from Outer Mongolia.  She also found the fair to be a good opportunity to exchange view and opinions with other cashmere professionals, adding: “I received a lot of important information, from technical aspects to fashion and trends”.

Exhibitor Mr. Roger Guanine met many suitable partners to expand the high-end BALMAIN Paris brand in China.  While his primary goal at the fair was to meet franchisees, Mr. Guanine was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a number of companies from Denmark, Italy and USA who were “impressed by the quality of our products and interested in our manufacturing capabilities.”

Meanwhile exhibitors Mr. Abdul Basir Hotak of Herati Cashmere Wool and Mr. Dawood Habibzadeh of Afghan Cashmere Co Ltd. were both very encouraged through meeting “hundreds of traders and processors” at Cashmere World.

The optimism felt on the fairgrounds was especially welcomed in light of the current high prices of raw cashmere, which have risen to an all-time high due to large domestic purchases fueled by inflationary pressures.  

But according to discussions among industry members, Asia’s continuing growth of the luxury sector predicted for the coming years would mean that strong end-consumer demand would buoy luxury goods sales, including cashmere.

The business goes both ways, experts warned. As a natural product raw cashmere is in limited supply and cashmere professionals across the globe must ensure stable growth of the business and a sustainable supply of this precious material.

This was, in fact, one of the key messages delivered at the fair: the need for a common goal towards a more sustainable global cashmere industry through attention to quality, brand building, fashion design technology innovation and social and sustainable practises. Attendees of the Cashmere Quality Forum and Sustainable Conference were eager to learn more about the technical aspects behind cashmere production as well as business solutions. CFNA Director Mr. Tian Bianzhu said:  “It is our mandate to improve the long-term viability of the Cashmere industry.  Through sustainable business practises, producers and suppliers of cashmere can ride the up-swing in the demand for high-end products across all major world markets”.

“It is here, at Cashmere World in Beijing, that experts from around the world have come to meet and address critical issues that will set the tone for future developments,” said Mr. Michael Duck, Senior Vice President of UBM Asia.  “These important discussions will help the industry achieve a unified approach to issues such as cashmere quality analysis, cashmere manufacturing and quality improvement across the supply chain.”

The forthcoming Cashmere World 2011 will take place 9 – 11 November at the China National Convention Centre, Beijing