Photo Credit: Better Cotton/Demarcus Bowser Location: Burlison, Tennessee, USA. 2019. Description: Cotton bales being transported from Brad Williams’ farm. Brad Williams participates in Better Cotton as Kelley Enterprises, which includes the farm operation, the Burlison Gin Company and Kelcot Warehouse.

The biggest change to Better Cotton’s Chain of Custody model in over a decade is coming, and we want you to help us shape it.

In late 2022, a new Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard—previously called the “CoC Guidelines”—will make important changes to the requirements that apply to all registered organisations operating in the Better Cotton supply chain.

In consultation with key stakeholders, Better Cotton periodically reviews and revises its CoC requirements to ensure its ongoing relevance, ability to connect demand with supply of Better Cotton, and support and incentivise farmers to adopt more sustainable practices.

The public consultation on the new CoC Standard is now live and is expected to conclude on 25 November 2022.

The proposed new standard is based on the final recommendations made by Chain of Custody Task Force that has worked to examine and recommend changes to version 1.4 of the CoC Guidelines in order to provide opportunities to physically trace Better Cotton. The Task Force includes Better Cotton’s member representatives from across the supply chain, including retailers and brands, ginners, spinners and traders.

Among other proposed changes, the draft introduces three new traceability models (in addition to Mass Balance): Segregation (Single Country), Segregation (Multi-Country) and Controlled Blending. Management system requirements have been harmonised, making it possible for suppliers to operate multiple CoC models at the same site.

This is your opportunity to shape improvements to the CoC, and ensure it is practical and achievable. Better Cotton needs to understand how ready supply chains are for this change, what support is needed, and whether the CoC Standard is feasible for suppliers.

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