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Better Cotton now 5% of India's total cotton production
Apr '15
The annual report of Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) says Better Cotton now makes up five per cent of the national cotton production in India. Switzerland-based BCI is a not-for-profit organisation stewarding the global standards for Better Cotton, and bringing together cotton’s complex supply chain, from the farmers to the retailers.

According to the report, 1,220,000 farmers were licensed worldwide to sell Better Cotton in 2014. Together, they produced 8.7 per cent of global cotton supply. The report says that due to BCI’s inclusive approach, working in collaboration with other initiatives and national players, Better Cotton was available from 20 cotton-producing countries after only five years of operations.

The fifth Better Cotton harvest in India saw 84 per cent increase in numbers of smallholder farmers, spread across 10 different states to produce Better Cotton lint equivalent to five per cent of national production. Other than India, BCI also made its mark in Pakistan where it has more than doubled the number of licensed farmers in 2013.

In 2014, BCI launched a new programme in Senegal. It also entered into win-win strategic partnerships with owners of other credible national standards in Australia (myBMP) and Brazil (ABR) based on a rigorous benchmarking exercise.

Jointly with its partners, BCI promotes higher levels of sustainability in cotton production. In countries where BCI was established prior to 2014, it delivered strong growth - both in terms of farmers reached and volume of Better Cotton produced.

The Better Cotton Standard is applicable in any farming context. This enables more sustainable cotton production at scale to be a reality. BCI works in labour-intensive smallholder settings through to large, highly mechanised farm operations. All of these farmers are working towards improvements across a diverse range of social, environmental and economic issues typical in agricultural practices. From expert advice, the strength that comes from working together with their peers to improved market access, farmers reached by BCI can all benefit from the Standard.

Better Cotton is sown and harvested in different annual cycles all over the world. In some regions, sowing and harvesting take place in the same calendar year, and in others, these activities spread into two calendar years. This means that globally complete data is only available later on in the following year after Better Cotton harvests. So from 2013, BCI has divided its reporting into an Annual Report – published in March/April – and the Harvest Report containing the data from the field published later on in the year, around September. (SH)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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