The purpose of this project is to strengthen both sustainability and climate change resilience in the South African wool industries through improving the productivity and quality of poor communal wool farmers, capacity building of factory workers and increased market access, so that the wool industry can provide a living income and secure decent jobs in some of the poorest provinces in South Africa.
This project builds on recommendations from ETNs previous work in South Africa. The local implementing partner is the National Wool Growers Association (NWGA) and their constituent farmer associations. NWGA represent almost 25000 farmers, of which 20 000 are communal farmers.
The project is aimed at strengthening NWGAs existing work to support and represent communal farmers, including institutional development of the farmers’ local representative structures, with a particular focus on increasing female leadership. NWGA field officers’ and other support officers’ capacity on elements like climate change resilience building and new market sustainability standards will be increased, with the aim of helping communal farmers improve the quality and sustainability of their wool production making them capable of supplying to the international market and new standards.
The project is an intervention model that can be replicated to support communal wool farmers in other areas of South Africa.
An additional element is the collaboration with the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) on training of workers in wool processing factories and brokerage firms in to develop their skills to impact positively on the industry as a whole in the region. The project also facilitates contact between the market (ETN members) and the producers in the South African wool industry, on topics such as sustainability standards, animal welfare and traceability.