Global Natural Fibre Forum
The Global Natural Fibre Forum (previously named The Global Natural Fibre Federation) is an international body of small and medium natural fibre product producers. The focus of this organisation will be to promote global natural fiber resources as critical sources of local livelihood. The federation will help develop the skills of small and medium producers to access global markets, which show a strong tilt towards green products.
Industree is spearheading this entity, whose primary intent will be to provide solutions to the core challenges of the natural fibre industry through a knowledge and skill transfer bank. The forum will be an Internet based venture, to facilitate the sharing and exchange of ideas through the web. At present there are 12 members in the Federation, with producers from over 10 countries interested in participating.
The nucleus of the foundation will be to direct:
1. Storage, processing and treatment of natural fibres.
2. Honing skills and techniques used in basketry and weaving etc.
3. Focus on design.
4. Build and enhance collective marketing efforts.
5. R & D initiatives to develop equipment that assist development of skills and processes that reduce labour intensive drudgery.
6. Provide credit access through savings and lending activities among group members.
The setting up of the The Global Natural Fibre Federation has coincided with the UN declaring 2009 to be 'The International Year for Natural Fibres'. The Federation hopes to bring to the UN's attention, the local grasses that are available in abundance but have not been commoditized so far. These include banana, pineapple, pandanas, palm leaves among others.