FTC Cashmere Goat Breeding Farm & Cashmere Farmer Protection Program

The initial idea of both projects was to improve the living conditions of the poorest family farmers in the Shanxi area. The government of the province supports the projects. The roughly 106,000 square meter FTC Cashmere Goat Breeding Farm houses a maximum of 5,000 goats annually from FTC Cashmere. Each year 2,000 to 3,000 animals leave the breeding farm and are delivered to the goat famers.

FTC Cashmere has an exclusive agreement with the local government and the farmers for the supply of raw cashmere at a fair market price plus markup. This project was started in August 2008, and in this form it is unique worldwide.

Earlier in 2007 the FTC Farmer Protection Program – a major project for the region – was launched together with the local government. This program resulted in a growing number of FTC Cashmere farms. The farmers commit to reporting yearly to FTC Cashmere about the goat population and to register the animals. Under the direction of experienced veterinarians, FTC Cashmere workers brief the farmers on humane and environmentally sustainable goat breeding. Additional farms based on this concept are in planning.

Swiss International FTC Cashmere World Hope School

Hope School

Long-term, fair partnerships are based on a simple principle: not only taking, but also giving.

The idea of a day school arose as a way of giving something back to the local farmers and the FTC Cashmere workers, as well as the residents of the Shanxi region, for their hospitality, warmth, and support, and at the same time to contribute to their children’s education. After the local authorities approved the project in June 2006, local craft workers built the school within twelve months. On June 1, 2007, which coincided with Children’s Festival Day – a traditional holiday in China – the Swiss International FTC Cashmere World Hope School was opened with a festive ceremony and enabled some 100 children between 4 and 14 years of age to secure basic academic skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic. The school was gradually expanded to include sports and play areas, which promote the children’s social skills, friendships, and sports activities. The entire project was planned, financed, and implemented by FTC Cashmere.

The school became so popular that it exceeded its capacity. Consequently, the government of Shanxi province agreed to renovate an existing, larger school, not far from the first one. The new Swiss International FTC Cashmere World Hope School was inaugurated in July 2009. Today around 1,000 children go to school here. As previously, FTC Cashmere provides the financial support and maintenance for the school, as well as additional modernization.