Traceable Cashmere Research




Product: Cashmere
Program Phase: Research
ProgramPartners: Rio Tinto, Stuart Anstee & Consultants
Year Completed: 2020


Implementing a traceability system was key to working towards market credibility for cashmere produced under the South Gobi Cashmere (SGC) Project, helping SGC differentiate cashmere produced by its herders and attract customers, creating greater financial resilience for the program.

There are numerous traceability systems in the market. As cashmere is a complex supply chain, Business for Development’s team reviewed products on the market and recommended an off-the-shelf traceability system that was fit for purpose.

As a result, the program achieved long-term financial independence for the herders and improved environmental outcomes.


Business for Development was engaged to complete a traceability system assessment for SGC to support its development of a sustainable cashmere supply chain. The assessment was conducted in two phases:

  • Phase 1 – A cross-section of stakeholders were interviewed to determine stakeholder perceptions and priorities, taking into consideration SGC’s current and future supply chains. Desk research was also completed to complement interview insights, with the final output of this first phase being an understanding of SGC’s requirements for a traceability system.
  • Phase 2 – The cashmere industry requirements from Phase 1 were consolidated and expanded upon to develop a set of five criteria that were used to assess a shortlist of traceability systems.



Three traceability systems were compared against SGC requirements, incorporating the output of stakeholder interviews and desk research. Our recommendation was based on the company’s track record, the diversity of customers currently using the platform, and the platform’s focus on customer engagement, a key priority for the brands working with SGC.

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