;A hundred years ago, the European discovered goose and duck feathers could keep warm with features of breathability and softness; therefore, the European royalties started to use down bedding, and the riches also use down products as social status. After 18th century industrial revolution, people utilized machines to replace manpower, which also brought down and feather business into mass production era. The Taiwan down and feather business started to grow in 1950s. After decades of harvesting, Taiwan became the world wide famous processing place. Since the mid of 1990s, the Taiwanese local goose and duck feathers could no longer fulfill the need from local manufacturers. The manufacturers started to change the purchasing source from collecting feathers locally to importing from other countries.
The price for down products is affected by market demand. In addition, the down and feather business has the feature of futures, which is connected with the price of goose and duck meat. If there was a shortage of goose and duck caused by natural and man-made disaster like bird flood, the quantity of down supply also went down, and the result is the price increasing; however, the selling price had been settled several months ago. Therefore, the key to profitability factor is whoever can predict the price trend with purchasing at low and selling at high precisely.
With the rising of China’s economic, the Chinese down and feather processing has played a key role in the world with down and feather material advantage and cheaper labor costs. Also, the internal demand of China has increased for down business, which gives China more advantages to develop this business. Therefore, if the Taiwanese manufacturers want to avoid the price competition on the standard products, they have to upgrade and develop different features from China to maintain the competitive advantages.
The down and feather’s downstream industry produces products, such as down jackets and down related sport accessories. The meaning of industry upgrading is promoting this second-grade industry to third, fourth, and fifth grade, which is enforcing design ability, marketing, and so on so forth. However, which level is what we are looking for? Who is the customers? What do the customers need? When we discuss about industry upgrade, it must be viewed on many aspects, like clothing, bedding, trend, fashion, culture, life style, consuming style, income, and so on.
For conclusion, we first must strengthen the creditability of international examination, so the report from Taiwan laboratory is trust-worthy internationally, and the customers and suppliers can both have agreement based on the report. Second, establishing the certification system for down and product by certifying goose and duck production system which contains down originality information, matching feather processing manufactures, contracting with slaughterhouse and breeding farm, promoting the image of Taiwanese down, combining with culture and creative industry, cooperating with different type of industries for certain target market. Finally, the alliance of Taiwanese manufactures can combine everyone’s strength to promote Taiwanese down, get rid of price competing, and create a whole new situation.