Photo credit: Cotton Australia. Location: Boggabri, Australia, 2023. Description: Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay with Better Cotton’s Alvaro Moreira in the cotton field as part of Camp Cotton 2023.

Better Cotton’s Senior Manager for Large Farm Programmes and Partnerships, Álvaro Moreira, recently visited strategic partners in Australia to reinforce industry relations and delve into field-level activities.

Álvaro met with Better Cotton affiliates from Cotton Australia and the Cotton Research & Development Corporation (CRDC), amongst others, from 27 April to 5 May – in which time he had the opportunity to attend and participate at the Australian Cotton Forum, before visiting farms, research premises, a seed distribution plant and cotton growers.

The trip enabled Better Cotton to reconnect with key partners across the country and discuss how our ongoing activities can help shape more sustainable cotton production. Notably, emphasis was placed on Better Cotton’s 2030 Impact Targets, in addition to the revised Principles & Criteria and how they align with the recently launched Chain of Custody Standard.

Photo credit: Álvaro Moreira, Better Cotton. Location: Boggabri, Australia, 2023. Description: Cotton grower Andrew Watson demonstrates the latest practices he’s adopted on his farm in Boggabri.

At the Australian Cotton Forum, held in Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum on 2 May, more than 100 industry stakeholders convened to discuss a whole gamut of issues pertinent to domestic cotton farming, from water use and soil health to human rights and circularity.

There, the CRDC provided an overview of its Australian Cotton Roadmap – and the targets that underpin it – whilst researchers provided a timely update on their Cotton Farming Circularity Project, through which farmers are trialling the dispersal of cotton trash on fields to gauge its degradation rate and impact on soil health.

From 3 to 5 May, Álvaro and a delegation of around 50 people headed north from Sydney to Narrabri to visit facilities and growers at the heart of the town’s cotton production.

In addition to touring research facilities and neighbouring gins – courtesy of Cotton Australia – attendees visited two farms with land varying from 500 to 5,000 hectares. Álvaro returned with a renewed conviction of the strength of Better Cotton’s partnership with its peers in Australia.

I witnessed the great strides that Australian growers have made in terms of sustainability, in particular when it comes to integrated pest management and water use. Thanks to a coordinated effort from those involved in research and industry, farmers are enabled to continuously improve their farming practices.

Better Cotton and Cotton Australia have worked closely since 2014 to advance the sector’s sustainability credentials. The country’s voluntary myBMP standard – which recognises best practice at field-level – has been benchmarked as equivalent to the Better Cotton Standard System (BCSS).

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