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BCI ushers in better environment management
May '15
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) has claimed that farmers in India and Pakistan, two of the world’s highest producers of cotton, used 14 per cent less water than those not using Better Cotton methods in 2013.

In China, these water savings were even higher, at 23 per cent, BCI said on its website.

BCI’s major goal is to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future.

In 2014 BCI worked with over 1.1m farmers in 20 countries worldwide, and over 950,000 qualified for a license to grow Better Cotton. The capacity-building, training workshops and auditing which goes on in the fields to improve the environmental impact of cotton-growing are only possible thanks to the commitment and support of BCI members across the industry, BCI said.

BCI monitors four ‘agronomic indicators’ at farm-level which compares BCI Farmers to farmers not yet using Better Cotton methods, to show progress towards reducing negative environmental impact: pesticide use; fertiliser use; water use for irrigation; yield.

Agronomic indicators is a complex field, but BCI is committed to strong definitions and continually improving our own measurements to be the best they can be. In 2014 for example we began studying Toxic Load: scoring hazardous ingredients in different pesticides for both the environment and humans. Pushing the potential of measurements like these means healthier, safer and cleaner environments for BCI Farmers and their communities in the future.

What happens in the field is the first step in the Better Cotton journey. The work of BCI members, combined with BCI’s online traceability system the Better Cotton Tracer, makes sure that the Better Cotton in the field finds a buyer in the stores.

Retailers like JACK&JONES and their suppliers are working hard to make this link for their customers, tracing Better Cotton from field to store. Earlier this year a JACK&JONES supplier, Blueline Project, became the first finished garment manufacturer to create end-to-end online traceability for Better Cotton.

“We’ve worked hard to develop the system for fabric mill use and the Blueline Project-JACK&JONES relationship shows that it is now working even better than we originally expected. It’s provided us with a glimpse into the future when we’ll have all supply chain actors in the same system,” said Kerem Saral, BCI Supply Chain Manager. (SH)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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