Chain of Custody

BCI released a revised version of the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Guidelines (v1.3) on 1 May 2018. This document replaces the previous v1.2 and will become effective by 1 August 2018. The revision incorporated mostly minor changes, such as removing outdated content, clarifying existing requirements, and adding new guidance sections. The updated version also includes more information on supply chain monitoring and penalties for non-compliance.

The revised CoC Guidelines incorporate the new name for the Better Cotton Tracer – now referred to as the Better Cotton Platform, or BCP. The CoC Guidelines also clarify maximum timelines for companies to enter transactions into the BCP and will expand mandatory use of the BCP to all companies buying and selling Better Cotton products by 2020. In addition, responsibilities for gins and Implementing Partners have been clarified with respect to control of Better Cotton between the farm and gin level. For an overview of all revisions, please refer to the Summary of Changes document.

Importantly, the basic Chain of Custody requirements have not changed – BCI still requires a product segregation model in place between farm and gin level (i.e. Better Cotton must be kept segregated from conventional cotton) and a mass-balance chain of custody model is applicable after gin level. More information on these models and requirements for different supply chain organisations can be found in the Chain of Custody Guidelines v1.3.

The revision was carried out in order to improve clarity for supply chain organisations buying and selling Better Cotton products, to help ensure more consistent implementation of the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Guidelines globally, and to ensure requirements were up to date so that compliance can be verified through BCI monitoring and third-party audits.

The revised Chain of Custody Guidelines, along with a summary of key changes, can be found here.

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