We are delighted to announce the launch of the 2016 BCI Annual Report. The Better Cotton Initiative brings together thousands of organisations, large and small, committed to playing a role in making cotton production more sustainable. Their efforts converge in cotton fields around the globe, where farmers and our Implementing Partners work day in, day out to bring to life more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable growing practices.
Here are a few key achievements from the 2016 BCI Annual Report.
- BCI Farmers produced Better Cotton in 23 countries, across 5 continents, which amounts to 12% of global cotton production.
- The BCI Growth and Innovation Fund directly invested €4.2 million in field-level programmes and mobilised an additional €4.7 million in co-funding from partners—a total portfolio value of €8.9 million.
- BCI membership grew to 986 members representing a 40% increase from the previous year.
Supporting farmers is at the heart of our work and is the reason for BCI’s existence. In the 2016 Annual Report, we step into the lives and fields of cotton farmers in four countries, in the feature article, that show the diversity of issues that characterise sustainable development in cotton production–from vital decent work training in Turkey, to a woman in rural Pakistan who has rose above cultural barriers to become a successful and respected farmer. We accompany an agricultural advisor in the cotton fields of Tajikistan, and we uncover cross-country collaboration as Australian farmers are gearing up to share their world-class knowledge with farmers in Pakistan. These stories represent just a small selection from the various geographies and contexts where Better Cotton is grown, but they constitute a representative illustration of the work taking place in the field and what we really mean by ‘growing cotton more sustainably.’
We would like to thank our Implementing Partners, who bring the Better Cotton Standard System to life at farm-level every day, and help us reach millions of farmers around the globe; our funding partners, for their generous support; and all BCI Members, who are working with us in creating transformational change at scale within the cotton sector. Together, we and all of our stakeholders are working towards a more sustainable future.