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JOCA recommends GOTS certification for organic cotton
Feb '12
The Japan Organic Cotton Association (JOCA) has discontinued its certification of quality labels 'pure' and 'blended', in favour of certifying organic products as per the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

The aim of JOCA is to contribute to the conservation of global environment by promoting various methods to minimize the environmental impact in the manufacturing process and in cultivation of organic cotton.

Mr. Akira Hibi, Chairman of JOCA, told fibre2fashion, “JOCA is a member of International Working Group (IWG) that established the GOTS, as well as a shareholder of GOTS GmbH. As a GOTS IWG member, it is not supposed to be a certifier, but "pure" and "basic" labels were being issued for organic products certified by JOCA. Now, as a member of GOTS, JOCA has discontinued certification of organic cotton goods as well as these labels. Instead, it recommends GOTS certification for the member companies.”

Explaining the high cost involved for Japanese companies in acquiring GOTS certification, he says, “The Japanese traditional structure of textile and apparel manufacturing is composed of small factories and mills that are engaged in spinning, weaving, sizing, knitting, dyeing, printing, finishing, cutting/sewing, etc. Such complicated supply chain system makes certification cost of organic cotton processing much higher. Because of high cost of GOTS certification in Japan, many Japanese supply chains of organic cotton products are unable to acquire GOTS certification.”

For companies which cannot get GOTS certification, he suggests, “As a second choice, JOCA recommends traceability certification only to the member companies. Quality of organic products is to be controlled and maintained by brand owner companies. But, more important for consumers is traceability of organic cotton from cotton field to end-products. JOCA, therefore, asks the member companies for getting certification of traceability of organic cotton for their products.”

Briefing how the new system of certification will differ from the earlier ones, he says, “JOCA has changed the earlier tags with new “member tags” that explain the traceability of the organic product. JOCA aims to promote organic cotton goods made in Japan and both GOTS and JOCA member tag will collaborate for JOCA activities.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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