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HAMBURG - The non-profit Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) has developed a new standard for sustainable cashmere amidst growing concern over the welfare of cashmere goats and demands for transparency and corporate responsibility.

The AbTF's Good Cashmere Standard covers the welfare of animals, the protection of the environment and the working conditions of farmers and farm workers. It has been developed in collaboration with animal-rights specialists and independent cashmere-production experts.

It will focus initially on 2,000 farmers in Inner Mongolia region of northern China where cashmere goats are kept by settled farmers rather than roaming with nomadic herders.

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