Undoubtedly!<br></br> Your core benefactor sector ‘Cotton’ has also been in talks since long. How have these upheavals in cotton industry been affecting your business? Has marketing for organic cotton-mades been tough during crisis times?
Our Industry is affected by the vagaries of demand, supply, climatic conditions, cotton prices, area under plantation and so on. All these factors cripple the process of Long term planning and dynamic decision making based on current realities. Long term strategy making is sometime in alignment with market realities and sometimes not.
Besides another important factor influencing the cotton plantation industry is the availability of subsidy on fertilizers for conventional farming and zero support to organic. Also the support and acceptance given to GM (Bt cotton seeds) has led to more than 80% of cotton farming with GM seeds .Organic farming on the other hand is against the usage of GM because of far reaching environmental implications.
The need of the hour is to extend enough support, resources, and intensive research to develop Organic farming holistically keeping in mind the view of economic and ecological sustenance of our nation.
Marketing for organic cotton-mades been tough during crisis time because most of the larger retailers are reluctant to spend extra for organic cotton products and want them at similar price points as conventional, thus as a result we are challenged to grow organic cotton competitively in the wake of zero support at the grass root level, contamination problems and imminent dangers of GM make organic cotton farming more and more vulnerable.
So, how do you foresee trends in consumer behavior and preferences, once the industry is relieved of recessionary upshots?
In a post recession economy the world consumers would have altered their lifestyles and buying preferences in many ways. At macroeconomic level however consumers are expected to continue to save more .They’ll also be looking for deeper meaning to justify purchases so that they’re not consuming just for the sake of it.
Spurred by household de-leveraging, higher savings and a low motivation for spending, consumers are generally inclined to go back to basics, with a penchant for practical, durable and value-for-money products, although quality and product ethics remains critical in the buying process.
I personally feel two polarized consumption classes would prevail and exist simultaneously in the post recession economy. Socially, environmentally conscious ethical and responsible consumption running alongside conspicuous consumption by the Ultra affluent. The financial crisis is said to have widened the gap between the affluent and the “real” rich, haves and haves- mores.
Biggest challenges here would be faced by mid-tier brands and retailers. In this changing consumption landscape retailers that are able to differentiate themselves on the high ethical worth of their environment friendly products would be the ones at a strategic advantage.
In such a milieu, it is apparent that the competition in industry is to get fiercer, be it India or overseas. What has helped or will help your Group to ace it?
Long term vision, commitment towards excellence in product value, manufacturing leadership and innovation, environmental performance and ethical citizenship: the fundamental cornerstones of sustainability are what guide the leadership at Pratibha.
Over last 11 years Pratibha has invested considerably towards Organic farming initiative, Vortex spinning, fiber recycling, water treatment, eco-efficient processing equipments that consume less energy and resources, building and expanding infrastructure centered on sustainable textile production of quality yarns, fabrics and garments- is what help us sustain in the business.
Now at the fag end of talk, while thanking for your valued time and comments, we request you to apprise us about ‘Vasudha’ project.
Project Vasudha is a self sustainable initiative founded by Pratibha in 1999, with an aim to expand organic cotton farming culture in India leading the wave of sustainable change through the SEED initiative. Vasudha covers 125,000 acres of organic and transitional cultivation and 28,000 farmers across 250 villages in four states of India certified under the Contol Union, USDA NOP standards as well as the FLO Trade standard. Vasudha is supported by technical supervisors and agronomists who closely work with farmers to improve farming practices by natural means for increased yields with minimum agricultural inputs. Vasudha has been an instrument of holistic change in the words of those living it for a simple reason that it reintroduced social & environmental ethics to an otherwise disconnected, disillusioned & economically impoverished farming population which today enjoys a sustained economic growth .#######
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.