Agronomists and Veterinarians without Borders (AVSF) has been working with these farmers and herders in Mongolia since 2004 for the Federation of Arkhangai Herders and for the Khangai Mountain Yak Herders. AVSF trains nomadic herders in basic veterinary care and also works with them on sustainable pastoral resource management, combing techniques, logistical organisation and the transformation and sale of their produce. It is also thanks to this support that all the qualities of the Khangai herders yak down can be asserted.
With support and guidance from AVSF throughout every stage of its development, the Cooperative acts a first stage in the production chain which ends with the dehairing of the fibres before being exported and / or spun. It’s commitment to quality also involves a whole series of issues and training programmes for its members: ensuring the animals health and welfare, teaching and improving combing techniques, putting more into checking and sorting techniques, getting involved in the dehairing phases, checking the quality of down before dispatch, analysing market needs and expectations, providing a service which is in accordance with customer requirements and redistributing benefits to the herders according to the volumes harvested. In order to diversify herders income, whilst remaining faithful to their Yak Culture, the Cooperative decided to promote other activities during periods when herding work is less intense, such as selling yarn hand-spun by the herders wives during winter and accommodating tourists in members yurts during the summer.