At Better Cotton, we believe in continuous improvement – not only for Better Cotton Farmers, but for ourselves as well. In line with codes of good practices for voluntary standards, we periodically review our farm-level standard – the Better Cotton Principles & Criteria (P&C). This helps to ensure we keep up with innovative agricultural and social practices, and the latest scientific and technological research.

Revisions of the Standard also take into account lessons learned from implementation and evaluation of the earlier versions of the Standard. The original six Better Cotton Principles and associated criteria were first published in 2010, and went under a first formal revision process in 2017.

Learn more

On 17 February, we hosted a public webinar to share details about the Principles & Criteria revision process with our members, partners and peers. If you missed the live session, you can catch up below. The webinar includes:

  • An introduction to the Principles & Criteria revision process, including rationale, timeline, governance, and decision making.
  • Overview of high-level key areas to be addressed by the revision.
  • Opportunities to contribute.

2021-2023 Revision

We are now launching the next standard revision process, with the aim of strengthening the Better Cotton Principles & Criteria (P&Cs) to ensure they continue to meet best practice, are effective and locally relevant, and align with Better Cotton’s 2030 strategy. Over the last five years, we have seen increasing focus on areas such as climate change, decent work, and soil health, and the P&C revision is an opportunity to ensure the Standard aligns with leading practice and supports our ambitions to drive field-level change. 

Stakeholder feedback on the current P&Cs also indicates that while the seven Principles remain broadly relevant and effective, there are a number of opportunities to make specific requirements more locally-relevant; for example around areas such as soil testing, and biodiversity and water mapping. These focus areas and others will be further explored with stakeholders once the revision process gets underway.


Opportunities to Contribute

Public consultations

There will be at least one public consultation period (likely August – September 2022), with a second consultation period in early 2023 if required. More details will be communicated to interested stakeholders closer to the consultation period.

If you would like to be kept up to date with the revision process, or contribute to the public consultation process, please submit your email address below. Better Cotton Members do not need to sign up here – members will receive regular updates.

Sign up to receive updates

Standards Committee and Working Groups

The P&C revision process is being supported by three technical working groups, who will work closely with us to revise the current indicators. These groups of subject experts, appointed by the Better Cotton Standards Team and Better Cotton Council representatives, will help draft revised indicators and guidance, review stakeholder feedback, and adjust the draft content based on this feedback.

Meet the working group members below.

Crop Protection Working Group

Decent Work & Gender Working Group

Natural Resources Working Group

In addition to the three working groups, we have appointed a Standards Committee.


Timeline and Governance

The P&C revision launched in October 2021 and is expected to run until Q2 2023. There will be at least one public consultation period (likely August – September 2022), with a second consultation period in early 2023 if required. It is expected that the revised P&Cs will be released in mid-2023, with a transition period to be defined. This preliminary timeline is subject to change based on the scope and nature of stakeholder feedback.

The P&C revision will follow ISEAL’s Standard-Setting Code of Good Practice v6.0, which sets out best practice guidelines to develop or revise sustainability standards. The project will be overseen by a multi-stakeholder Standards Committee, comprised of dedicated technical experts and representatives from Better Cotton’s Council and membership base. Final approval of the revised P&C is the responsibility of the Better Cotton Council.


Key Documents

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1.39 MB

Standard Setting and Revision Procedure v2.0

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148.95 KB

Standards Committee Terms of Reference

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191.38 KB

Standard Revision Project Overview

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Contact Us

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about the revision, please contact the Standards Team.

If you would like to be kept up to date with the revision process, please submit your email address below. Better Cotton Members do not need to sign up here – members will receive regular updates.