©FAO / Swiatoslaw Wojtkowiak

On 20 December 2006 the General Assembly proclaimed 2009 the International Year of Natural Fibres and invited FAO to facilitate its observance, in collaboration with governments, regional and international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and relevant organizations of the United Nations system. 

The International Year of Natural Fibres raised the profile of natural fibres, thereby strengthening demand, promoting efficient and sustainable industries and contributing to improved welfare of fibre producing farmers. The IYNF brought allied natural fibre industries together for mutual support in the communication of the importance and benefits of natural fibre industries. 

Today, FAO through the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Hard Fibres and on Jute, Kenaf and Allied Fibres is raising awareness of the technical and economic attributes of hard fibres. The Group operates price forecasting for sisal, abaca, jute and kenaf fibres and set indicative prices to guide farmers and traders in their production and marketing decisions and also to assist governments in making policy decisions. 

Natural Fibres

Each year, farmers harvest million tonnes of natural fibres from a wide range of plants and animals – from sheep, rabbits, goats, camels and alpacas, from cotton bolls, abaca and sisal leaves and coconut husks, and from the stalks of jute, hemp, flax and ramie plants. Discover the 15 of the world's major fibres and find out about 5 good reasons to choose natural fibres. 

Activities Archive

The International Year of Natural Fibres 2009 raised global awareness of the importance of natural fibres not only to producers and industry, but also to consumers and the environment. Activities of the IYNF included conferences, exhibitions, and fashion shows in many countries, including the International Mohair Summit in South Africa and the Creative Fiber Festival in South Canterbury, New Zealand.