Herders and breeders of sheep in the upper reaches of Himalaya’s with wool quality comparable with the best in the world classified as Merino wool were identified and aggregated into groups and a network built up for their audit conforming to the IFOAM standards of organic sheep farming led to the award of certification for Mojopanda Exim P Limited by Control Union of Nederlands as there were no existing standards for organic for livestock in India. This has resulted in a collective livestock of 1,30,000 sheep and 250 herders / breeders with an output of 300 tons of certified organic wool of Indian origin.
Local processors of wool with spare capacity were identified in Himachal – Shikhar Wool Processor and Mahadev Woollen Milles and inputs were provided to enhance their processing capabilities as per international standards conforming to Global Organic Textile Standards and substantial investments made in improving their process cost and time with design and implementation of solar dryers and climate controlled ware housing.
Processed wool, certified under GOTS standard were then converted into products at Bikaner. These included wool felt bedding certified organic for children – a high value product in Europe and USA and the segregated / sorted wool was used to develop high fashion apparels, socks, footwear, active sportswear, blankets, quilts, floor furnishing and carpets, targeting the upper end premium market of Europe.
The company invested in innovating the use of soap nut in scouring wool and with the Wool Research Association in Mumbai developed an organic process of making wool or wool products moth-proof, which hitherto has been using a very toxic chemical to treat wool to make it mothproof.
To achieve this the company used the price mechanism to disrupt the existing wool market price in India, increasing the price from a mere Rs 30/Kg procurement price to Rs 90/Kg in the first year to incentivise the farmers for adhering to the best practices of organic farming.
The developed products were marketed in USA and Germany, successfully, for the past three years having overcome the initial barriers of export against competing countries like Australia and New Zealand and is enlarging the market reach to UK, China and Russia.
The company has plans to expand its cover of raw material to J&K and Leh Ladakh in the coming few years and also innovate and develop products for insulation of medical supplies which are currently being met from environmentally negative products like Styrofoam. The company has also started a ‘sheep rearing / breeding farm’ to improve the quality of wool by rearing high quality ram from indigenous species with CSWRI to offer to the export market high quality wool apparel for fashion in 19 microns. For inventory a digital process has been developed in house using RFID tags and traceability throughout the supply chain.
Mandira Utsav is an initiative of the Company where the entire workforce is only women weaving carpets, the only unit in India with all women carpet weaving unit.