Is it true that BCI works with large scale, mechanised farms in addition to smallholder farms?
BCI’s highest priority is the transformation of cotton production world-wide in such a way that it becomes a mainstream, sustainable and socially responsible commodity. Approximately 75% of global production comes from smallholder farms in developing countries, and addressing the key social, environmental and economic impacts of cotton farming in this ‘smallholder’ context is critical to BCI’s mission. This engagement priority is reflected in our objective to have Better Cotton adopted by 5 million farmers by 2020.
That said, BCI works in developed and developing countries, on small farms and large farms because there is always room for improvement – for all farmers. BCI is a global and inclusive initiative – the standard is applicable to all countries and all categories of farmers.
It is noted that many key cotton producing countries, including some in the developing world, grow cotton on much larger farms, often using mechanised production techniques. This form of farming has its own unique social, environmental and economic impacts.
To address the different contexts of farming production, BCI has adapted its Production Principles and Criteria so that they are relevant for each category of farming. Categories for which unique processes and measures exist include smallholder farming (up to 20 ha), medium sized farms (up to 200 ha) and large-scale mechanised farming (>200 ha).