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PROFILE INTERVIEW

Traceability is a key differentiator for major mohair producer Michael Brosnahan, the CEO of SAMIL, explains why he is positive about the future of the mohair industry. What is the state of the mohair sector in South Africa at the moment?

Michael Brosnahan, CEO

Despite all the challenges, we are extremely positive about the future. Mohair farmers are a hardy breed of individuals used to facing and overcoming adversity, including the recent drought. There are indications that the situation is improving. The South African mohair production for the last two seasons was 2.40-million kg in 2017, and 2.24-million kg in 2018. The prediction is that production will be in the region of 2.35-million kg this year. However, nature is a fickle entity. What are the main countries to which Samil exports?

Italy and China are our two largest markets in terms of semi-processed tops. We redirect between 15-20% (and this figure is increasing) of tops produced at SAMIL Combing to SAMIL Spinning for conversion into magnificent yarns which are mainly sold on the international stage. What are the advantages of having multiple divisions?

SAMIL has a team of professionals with long years of experience in both the mohair and textile industries. As traceability becomes more and more important to the final consumer, SAMIL has a distinct point of difference – we are involved from goat farming through all conversion processes to the finished yarn.

BIOGRAPHY Michael emigrated from the UK to KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa in 1981 in order to take up the position of Quality Assurance Manager with the Frame Group. A chartered member of the Textile Institute in South Africa, he has managed several large textile companies since then. Mooi River Textiles was awarded Cotton Spinner of the Year for three consecutive years under his leadership. He was appointed CEO of SAMIL Natural Fibres in Port Elizabeth in 2016. SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2020

What headwinds has mohair experienced?

Mohair has faced some serious challenges in recent years, the first of which was PETA’s exposé on the South African mohair industry in May 2018. Though a negative attack, the positive spin-off is that it has helped the industry to fast-track the implementation of the Mohair Sustainability requirements. The industry has engaged with the Textile Exchange in drawing up a Responsible Mohair Standard. This is to satisfy consumers that mohair is a sustainable and ethically produced product. Secondly, the Lesotho farmers’ conflict with their government over restrictive mohair export conditions. They have recently won a High Court battle to have these restrictive conditions repealed but there is still uncertainty as to when normal supply will resume. What other plans do you have?

We are also investing in our combing and spinning operations to ensure we are equipped to deliver quality products timeously to our clients.

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Profile for Global Africa Network

South African Business 2019/2020  

South African Business 2019/2020 is a trade and investment journal for public and private entities either based in South Africa or looking t...

South African Business 2019/2020  

South African Business 2019/2020 is a trade and investment journal for public and private entities either based in South Africa or looking t...

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