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BCI cotton reaches 22 per cent of global production

Jun '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) has launched its 2019 annual report. In the report, BCI shares that Better Cotton, cotton produced by licensed BCI farmers in line with the initiative’s Better Cotton principles and criteria, now accounts for 22 per cent of global cotton production. BCI is one of the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world.

In the 2018-19 cotton season, together with expert on-the-ground implementing partners and with support from more than 1,800 members, BCI provided training on more sustainable agricultural practices to 2.3 million cotton farmers, 2.1 million gained a license to sell Better Cotton. This drove the volume of more sustainably produced cotton available on the global market to a new level, according to a press release by Better Cotton.

At the opposite end of the supply chain, BCI’s retailer and brand members passed a significant milestone at the end of 2019, sourcing more than 1.5 million metric tonnes of Better Cotton, a record for BCI. That’s a 40 per cent increase on 2018 and sends a clear signal to the market that Better Cotton is becoming a sustainable mainstream commodity. Better Cotton uptake now accounts for 6 per cent of global cotton production.

According to the 2019 report, Better Cotton was grown in 23 countries in the 2018-19 cotton season. Licensed BCI Farmers produced 5.6 million metric tonnes of Better Cotton. That is enough cotton to make approximately 8 billion pairs of jeans, a pair each for every person in the world.

Better Cotton now accounts for 22 per cent of global cotton production. BCI and its 76 field-level partners delivered training and support to a total of 2.3 million farmers. Around 2.1 million cotton farmers received a BCI license to sell their cotton as Better Cotton, 99 per cent are smallholders farming on less than 20 hectares.

BCI retailer and brand members sourced 1.5 million metric tonnes of cotton as Better Cotton in 2019, a record volume. Uptake of Better Cotton now accounts for 6 per cent of global cotton production. BCI welcomed more than 400 new members in 2019. By the end of the year, BCI had 1,842 members across five membership categories, a 29 per cent increase on 2018.

“It is particularly pleasing to share the progress BCI is making, thanks to the concerted efforts of our members, partners and other stakeholders, towards our 2020 targets. With two more cotton seasons (2019-20 and 2020-21) within which to make further advances at field level, we are committed to not only continuing to deliver beneficial change at field level, but also to learning from the experience and adapting to become more effective. We do not yet know how close we will come to our 2020 targets, and we are still assessing how the current COVID-19 pandemic will impact our efforts. But one thing is certain, we have made significant and undeniable progress over the past ten years, and there are many successes to celebrate,” Alan McClay, CEO of BCI said.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (GK)

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