BCI welcomes any reporting that helps us identify how we can better achieve our aim of improving cotton production worldwide, and we make all reasonable attempts to provide media with information and comment when requested. A BBC News report on allegations of forced labour in the cotton sector of China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) features an interview with a BCI spokesperson. The report was published on 14 December 2020 through BBC TV, radio and website channels.
The spokesperson, Damien Sanfilippo, Director of Standards & Assurance, outlined BCI’s approach to analysing the situation in the region, determining the risk level and taking appropriate action. In March, BCI decided to stop licensing, and most recently in October, to cease field-level activities in XUAR altogether.
Forced labour is unacceptable and absolutely proscribed in the Better Cotton Standard System. We recognise that our members, too, are taking these allegations seriously.
To find out more about BCI and China visit here. For an opinion piece on this and on the role of sustainability initiatives, read this Thomson Reuters Foundation opinion piece by BCI’s CEO, Alan McClay.