Day Three: Mohair Marketing

Today started off with a bang - one of the most interesting and energised discussions of the International Mohair Summit in Jansenville. The first session was aimed at discussing the strategies and effects of marketing for this lustrious local product. Once again brilliantly facilitated by Jane Stevenson and Luvuyo Bangazi, the panel consisted of key players in the marketing of mohair and important figures from the industry: Stanley Mayfield of MCA, Denys Hobson of Cape Mohair, Anle Marais from the marketing department of Mohair South Africa, and Belgian commercial engineer and founder of Casalis, Francis Vercaemst. Delegates were certainly interested in this aspect of the industry as there were many questions and a prolonged discussion even after the session came to an end! Marketing is one of the most important factors in the successful production and consumption of this Karoo gem, and mohair marketing is undoubtedly a hot topic considering the exclusivity of the product, with a simultaneous need to promote it. Key issues that came out of the session were the need for collaboration in marketing strategies and activities, as well the need to ensure capacity production by ensuring the consumer is actually buying the end product. Another important point of discussion was the need to promote the product to locals, and not just internationally as has been stressed throughout the summit (as in acclaimed guest speaker Colin Cowie's presentation on day two). It is vital that the local community of producers, manufacturers and consumers are made aware of and interested in this wonderful product. There is so much potential for mohair to become one of the most exclusive and exquisite products on the market and there are a lot of exciting initiatives in place and on the horizon to capitalize on that potential, and many were discussed today. Delegates were left with a desire to learn more and understand the process behind the marketing of mohair and we thank our panel for educating us on what is certainly an innovative aspect of an industry that is steeped in traditonal, natural processes.