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Small farmers benefiting from CmiA initiative
13
Jul '15
A farmer business school in Ghana/Courtesy: CmiA
A farmer business school in Ghana/Courtesy: CmiA
The Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) initiative is paying off. The latest CmiA verification report for 2014 shows that the partners in Africa clearly benefit from the initiative that is committed to social welfare by securing ILO core labour standards, the payment of the minimum wage in the cotton ginning factories, and in fair contracts, it said in a press statement.

The report gives an overview of the independent verification controls carried out by AfriCert, EcoCert and Control Union, the CmiA statement said.

CmiA is an initiative of the Germany-based Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) that helps small cotton farmers in Africa to improve their living conditions.

"Cotton made in Africa successfully campaigns for international rights to be applied to the people who produce the raw materials for our clothing, namely the cotton farmers and workers in the cotton industry in Africa. Our standard works to the advantage of hundreds of thousands of smallholder families in the cotton growing regions and the environment," said Tina Stridde, managing director of the AbTF.

Small farmers who have joined the Cotton made in Africa initiative are paid in due time for their crops, as stipulated in the requirements of the CmiA standard. Cotton made in Africa farmers decide at the beginning of every season whether they will grow cotton again and, before they do so, they are informed by the local cotton companies of the anticipated costs and prices. This transparency establishes trust on both sides, according to the statement.

By the end of 2014, over 440,000 small farmers had benefited from the sustainability standards applicable to CmiA and – since the end of last year – to CmiA Organic. They produced over 360,000 tons of raw cotton with the CmiA seal of quality. Three more cotton companies have been partners of the CmiA initiative since the start of 2015, extending the reach of Cotton made in Africa to over 650,000 small farmers in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the statement said. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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