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Better Cotton on the market!
Apr '11
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) exists in order to respond to the current impacts of cotton production worldwide. BCI aims to promote measurable improvements in the key environmental and social impacts of cotton cultivation worldwide to make it more economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable.

Last year's highlight has definitely been the first harvest of Better Cotton in India, Pakistan and Mali. This is the result of hard work from the BCI Secretariat, members, donors and particularly our Implementing Partners.

From the supply side, people have been focusing on engaging with farmers, helping to get the farmers verified, and then get the cotton to the gins. The demand side has been equally busy with retailers getting out there to find and engage their suppliers, mills proactively trying to find Better Cotton and lots of different types of manufacturers joining the BCI to help promote Better Cotton.

Our plans for 2011
While harvest is still going on in some parts of India and Mali, and Better Cotton is expected in Brazil in May 2011, we are already planning for the next season. The first months of the year are focused on learning from year one of implementation, with our Implementing Partners. We will also be collecting result indicators to measure change happening on the ground in 2010 as a result of growing Better Cotton.

This year we also want to enhance the services provided to our members by offering the support needed to successfully move Better Cotton closer towards becoming a mainstream commodity and setting up the online membership portal.

In 2011-12 season we are expecting to work with around 150,000 farmers in our focus regions (Brazil, India, Pakistan, West and Central Africa) - a significant increase from this year's 68,000. We are also preparing to work with China for the 2012 season and responding to the interest expressed in growing Better Cotton in many other countries.

Brazil on track
Right at the end of 2010, we held the first Implementing Partner training workshop in Brazil – making sure that producers are well informed about how to participate in the Better Cotton System. The five pilot areas are in the north of Minas Gerais and Guanambi, where the projects are with smallholder farmers. The other three regions, western Bahia, south-east of Goias, and south of Mato Grosso, are areas of large farm employers. Harvest is expected from May 2011.

Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)

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