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.
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
Apply to join a technical working group
The P&C revision process will be supported by several technical working groups, who will work closely with Better Cotton to revise the current indicators. These will be groups of subject experts, appointed by the Better Cotton Standards Team and BCI Council representatives, who will help draft revised indicators and guidance, review stakeholder feedback, and adjust the draft content based on this feedback.
If you have expertise in one of the thematic areas below and are familiar with the Better Cotton programme and P&C, you are welcome to apply to be a part of a working group.
Click the group you are interested in joining to learn more.
The link below will take you through to the working group application form where you can select the group you wish to apply for.
Working group members will be selected based on subject expertise, geographic and stakeholder diversity, experience with similar multi-stakeholder initiatives, and strength of application and/or interview process.
The deadline to apply for a position in one of the Technical Working Groups is 05 November 2021.
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
Timeline and governance
The P&C revision will launch 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 would 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 the Better Cotton Council.
Standard Setting and Revision Procedure v2.0
Standards Committee Terms of Reference
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.