FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chianti Cashmere Goat Farm earns Wildlife Friendly® Certification for Coexisting with Wolves
Radda in Chianti, Italy: – 02 Dec 2014 – The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), a global community dedicated to supporting products that conserve threatened wildlife and contribute to economic vitality in rural landscapes, is pleased to announce the awarding of Wildlife Friendly® Certification to Chianti Cashmere Goat Farm a sustainable luxury cashmere operation in the Tuscany region of Italy which raises cashmere goats while using predator-friendly tools to coexist with wolves.
“We applaud the patience, hard work and investment that producers like Chianti Cashmere have made in order to coexist with a keystone predator like wolves. By awarding our certification label which recognizes the use of non-lethal farming and herding practices we give global consumers the opportunity to vote their values with their pocketbooks. In this way consumers are able to reward producers for their extra expense and effort and help to ensure and sustain wild populations of native carnivores even on private lands in places like Tuscany,” said WFEN Executive Director Julie Stein. “We are thrilled to not only welcome our first certified operation in Italy, but also in Europe, as wolves continue to expand there.”
Predator-friendly practices used by Chianti Cashmere include employing a dozen Abruzzo guard dogs for their herd of 250 Cashmere Goats, an ancient breed of shepherd dog raised for centuries in southern Italy, to protect against wolves and bears.
Dr. Nora Kravis, the founder and owner of Chianti Cashmere, is also working with Dr. Duccio Berzi, a technical advisor for the non-profit Italian group Canislupus Italia, towards the selection and implementation of preventative and non-lethal anti-predator solutions with the goal of making the farm a model for Best Management Practices (BMP) to spread predator-friendly know-how and certification to other Italian herders.
In addition, Dr. Kravis is an expert on pastoralism and cashmere goat genetics, with degrees in both Veterinary Medicine and Textile Design, and is a regular participant and convener of workshops on related subjects internationally, and on the farm itself which is an agritourism destination for tourists as well as a center for the transfer of best practices to breeders and herders.
Chianti’s goat herd, which produces the raw material for a unique line of exclusive, locally processed Italian cashmere yarn, accessories and home textiles, originated in 1995 with the importing of the first cashmere goats into Italy, and improved over time by careful cross-breeding with local goats to create an Italian cashmere goat.
“We are delighted to have earned Wildlife Friendly® certification and to be recognized for our sustainability practices as well as to connect with consumers and companies who appreciate our efforts to coexist with wolves and other wildlife here in Italy” said Dr. Kravis.
Dr. Luigi Boitani, Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Rome and widely considered to be one of the world’s leading authorities on wolves, explains “Wolves are recovering and expanding in many European countries and conflicts with humans are widespread and often difficult to manage. As a consequence wolves are vulnerable. This Wildlife Friendly® certification is extremely important for farmers across Europe showing them that coexistence is possible and recognizing and showcasing success stories for farmers using predator-friendly practices.” Continue reading