BCI Programme seeks China government collaboration

press Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

13.11.13 Ecotextile News
www.ecotextile.com

GENEVA – A new report from the Better Cotton Initiative’s Fast Track Program, which includes clothing retailers, Adidas, H&M and Walmart, has outlined the association’s aim to collaborate with Chinese government to develop new good agricultural practices and a greater understanding of China’s cotton policy.

Aiming to address the sustainability challenges faced in the production of cotton and work to mainstream sustainable cotton, retailers involved in the Better Cotton Initiative’s (BCI) Better Cotton Fast Track Program also include Marks and Spencer, Levi Strauss and VF Corporation.

The Better Cotton Fast Track Program End Year Report 2012, From field to fashion, report looks the impact of the fast track program worldwide, including the BCFTP funded ABRAPA (Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Algodão), project in Brazil covering over 210,000 acres and 100 farmers, 20 projects in India reaching more than 90,000 workers and farmers, and an investment of EU 390 000 made in China.

The recent distortion of the market by China’s national cotton reserve program has been the biggest challenge for retail brands to procure Better Cotton from Chinese suppliers, the report claims, with the country cultivating around 25 per cent of the total global cotton production, according to BCI figures.

“BCI is actively seeking collaboration with central and local government (initially by engaging with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Research Centre for the Rural Economy to develop the China Good Agricultural Practices )… Developing an understanding of China’s cotton policy and exploring solutions is clearly indispensable to all stakeholders in the cotton supply chain,” the report states.

2012 was the first year Better Cotton was licensed and produced in China, with 32,000 megatonnes (MT) of lint licensed as Better Cotton, from which 29,000 MT was taken up by ginners.

Looking forward, the report states the BCI is aiming to set targets for brands to deliver on their public commitments in the coming years, whilst “looking to evolve beyond sustainability departments of apparel companies get entrenched in their operations and commercial business.”