The Global Natural Fibre Forum is a global body promoting the usage and development of the natural fibres which directly supports the livelihoods of millions of people worldwide. Sustainable production and consumption is crucial to building a environmentally prudent and a lighter carbon footprint on this planet which nurtures us. Global Natural Fibres Forumaims to become a global knowledge platform for usage of natural fibres across the globe and facilitate the building of a better ecosystem for production, processing and use of natural fibres.

The objectives include:

  • To promote natural fibres as a credible alternative in various fields and applications
  • To facilitate knowledge and information sharing in the sector through setting up of a web based knowledge bank
  • To promote decent work and improve livelihoods of communities and workers dependent of natural fibres
  • To increase markets through collaborative efforts and market linked product development
  • To support research and innovation leading to breakthrough actions.

Global Natural Fibre Industry and Small Producers

Natural fibre production, processing and export are of significant importance to many countries, with the livelihoods of millions of small producers and low wage workers depending on this sector. For thousands of years, people all over the world have used fibres from plants and animals to make cloth, string and paper, and strengthen building materials. Roughly 30 million tonnes of natural fibres are produced annually worldwide. Since the 1960s, the use of synthetic fibers has increased, and natural fibers have lost a lot of their market share. Producers and processors of natural fibers face the challenge of developing and maintaining markets in which they can compete effectively with synthetics.

Formation Process

The idea of GNFF originated out of a Pan-Commonwealth Natural Fibre Skills Development Programme held in Bengaluru, India in 21-24 June 2009. The conference supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat and Industree Crafts Foundation a pioneering Non Govt. Organisation in India working on improving livelihoods of small producers. Participants representing Commonwealth Developing Countries expressed the need to be assisted in developing their natural fibres’ industries in their countries. This led to the SASD COMSEC facilitate a consultative process hosted by Industree Foundation to evolve the formation of GNFF.

International Secretariat of GNFF

Industree Craft Foundation, the International Secretariat to GNFF is a social entrepreneurship based in Bangalore that supports livelihood of rural artisans through market access, producing contemporary products using traditional crafts, using natural raw material. Industree would provide institutional support that will include human resource, expertise and a home for GNFF network.

Call for Membership

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/GlobalNaturalFibresForum

Consultant Contact for different regions

The Commonwealth Secretariat through its Special Advisory Services Division (SASD) has engaged three Consultants to implement the project in the three regions of Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific to create awareness on natural fibre opportunities, build capacity of stakeholders and facilitate establishment of national and regional networks of GNFF.

  1. Dr. Thandeka Kunene: South African national and CEO of House of Hemp whose main business is to distribute quality hemp products in Southern Africa. She is the GNFF Regional Consultant in Africa.
  2. Ms. Lisa Callender: Private Consultant based in Jamaica and with design, Arts and Craft background. She is GNFF Consultant for Caribbean region.
  3. Ms. Jennifer Rosenthal: Canadian/New Zealand national based in new Zealand. She is private consultant and with design, textile background and research in natural fibres.
  4. She is GNFF Regional Consultant for the Pacific. Industree Craft Foundation will be undertaking the GNFF consultation in Asia.