Assurance Programme

The Better Cotton Assurance Programme is a key component of the Better Cotton Standard System. It involves farmers participating in a continuous cycle of learning and improvement and is the central mechanism for assessing whether farmers can be licensed to sell Better Cotton.

Farms are differentiated by three categories (Smallholders, Medium Farms and Large Farms) recognising the differences in production methods and workforces they use. To be licensed to grow Better Cotton, farmers must first comply with all Core Indicators in the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria v2.1 – including having a clear and time-bound Continuous Improvement Plan.

The Core Indicators ensure that Better Cotton meets clearly defined standards for pesticide use, water management, decent work, record keeping, training and other factors. To maintain their license, Producers are required, regardless of their initial level, to commit to adopting even more sustainable practices over time.

The BCI assurance model is unique in that it combines third-party verification with second-party assessments by BCI, support visits by Implementing Partners (IPs), and regular self-assessments by Producers themselves.

For any enquiries please use our contact form.

Revised BCI Assurance Model for 2020-21

The Better Cotton Assurance Programme has been revised to improve overall credibility and to enable Implementing Partners to focus more effort on continuous improvement and capacity building.  The revised BCI Assurance Model is now applicable to all Producers from the season 2020-21. Below are the links to revised assurance documents.

Revised BCI Assurance documents:

BCI Assurance Manual v4.0

BCI Summary of Assurance Revisions 2020

Readiness Check Template – Smallholder PUs

Readiness Check Template – Medium Farm PUs

Producer Unit Support Visit Template – Smallholder PUs

Producer Unit Support Visit Template – Medium Farm PUs

Producer Unit Progress Matrix v1.0

For further information about the assurance model changes, please refer to our FAQ.

Please use the dropdown menus below to access additional information about the Better Cotton Assurance Programme, and to view guidance materials for smallholders, medium farms and large farms.

Appeals process and documents

BCI Appeals Procedure

Producer Units or Large Farms may appeal against a licensing decision by submitting a written application (along with objective evidence) within 10 working days of being informed of a license cancellation or denial.

The Appellant (i.e. Producer Unit Manager or Large Farm) must submit a completed Appeals Submission form found on the link below. All appeal submissions must:

1. Include a clear rationale for each separate non-conformity being appealed.

2. Include detailed supporting evidence for each non-conformity being appealed.

Appeal submissions are reviewed and decided by a selected set of members from BCI’s Appeals Committee. BCI aims to communicate final decisions to the Appellant within 35 calendar days of receiving an (eligible) appeals submission.

BCI Appeals Procedure

BCI Appeals Form for Producer Units

BCI Appeals Form for Large Farms

Appeals Committee Members 2019

Appeals Committee Terms of Reference