On 11th January 2013 in Frankfurt the meeting of DNFI Steering was held.
Members thanked Elisabeth van Delden for serving as Chair during the first three years of the life of DNFI. Małgorzata Zimniewska (Head of Department of Innovative Textile Technologies, Institute of Natural Fibers and Medicinal Plants, Poznan, Poland) was nominated as new Chair. She was elected unanimously.
Terry Townsend was confirmed to continue to serve as vice chair for one year, noting that Terry will step down as executive director of ICAC at the end of 2013.
After short presentations on the current situation of natural fibres worldwide, it was confirmed that there is a need for an aggressive information campaign stressing that natural fibers are renewable and sustainable, that they have positive impacts on human physiology, and that natural fiber composites have strong performance characteristics.
Attacks on Natural Fibers: Elke Hortmeyer and Terry Townsend showed brief sections of video clips from the Internet, one entitled “Killing Seeds” and another called “Harry Cotton.” The video about “killing seeds” was a diatribe about biotechnology causing farmer suicides in India, the Harry cotton video distorted cotton production practices to imply that cotton damages people and the environment. The ICAC and the cotton industry are responding to these attacks by providing objective information about cotton production practices through scientific research, including a peer-reviewed Life Cycle Inventory and Life Cycle Analysis of world cotton production, processing, consumer use and disposal.
Małgorzata Zimniewska encouraged participation of DNFI members in an International Conference on Natural Fibers in Portugal during 9-11 June 2013.
TechTextil: representative of Messe Frankfurt, and organizer of TechTextil invited DNFI members to operate a Natural Fiber Pavilion during TechTextil, 11-13 June 2013 – the level of costs depends on the quantity of fibres engaged.