200,000 Pakistani cotton farmers to benefit from global cotton industry partnership between BCI, Cotton Australia and the Australian Government.

Announcements Friday, September 9th, 2016

 

Approximately 200,000 cotton farmers in Pakistan will receive indispensable training in 2017. The training will address the most pressing sustainability issues in cotton farming such as pesticide and water use, and social challenges like child labour, forced labour, gender issues and fair-pay.

The Australian Government’s Business Partnerships Platform (BPP), has granted $500,000 (AUD) to BCI. These funds have been matched by global brands and will be invested in training for Pakistan’s cotton farmers. Investing brands include BCI Retailer and Brand members such as adidas, IKEA, H&M, Levi’s Strauss & Co, Marks & Spencer, and Nike.

The funds will support the training of an estimated 200,000 cotton farmers in Pakistan in the 2017 cotton season; without the BPP grant, BCI estimates only 150,000 farmers would be reached. This is significant in aiding BCI to reach its 2020 target of 5million farmers producing Better Cotton globally, with 600,000 of these farmers in Pakistan.

This project is an unprecedented example of a global public-private sector initiative, and is the first time that a government outside of Europe has contributed towards BCI. It is an inspiring example of people coming together to form a global partnership; sharing knowledge and skills, and working in synergy towards a common goal to achieve measurable reductions in key environmental impacts, while improving the social and economic benefits for cotton farmers.

We would like to thank Cotton Australia for initiating the project proposal, and for sharing their world-leading best practices, skills and experience with farmers in Pakistan. Rather than seeing Pakistan’s cotton farmers as competition, Cotton Australia believes that all cotton farmers are part of a global community that should be helping each other overcome the complex problems of cotton production in countries such as Pakistan.

BCI’s CEO, Alan McClay says; “BCI works to catalyse positive change throughout the cotton sector and to promote healthy production for future generations. A shared value approach by public and private partners, bringing together business, civil society and governmental bodies, is what underpins successful, durable and positive change in the sector”.

Read more about the Australian Government’s Business Partnership Platform here.