Better Cotton Launches 2021 Annual Report

We are delighted to launch the Better Cotton 2021 Annual Report which highlights key updates, successes and challenges from the past year and cotton season. 

In the report, we share that:

  • In the 2020-21 cotton season, the Better Cotton programme reached more than 2.9 million cotton farmers in 26 countries.
  • 2.2 million licensed farmers in 24 countries grew 4.7 million tonnes of Better Cotton – this accounted for 20% of global cotton production.
  • In 2021, Better Cotton’s membership base surpassed 2,400 members in 63 countries.
  • Retailer and Brand Members sourced 2.5 million tonnes of Better Cotton – accounting for 10% of global cotton production. 

We can all agree that 2021 was a challenging year, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and growing climate and biodiversity challenges. However, we remained steadfast in our commitment and purpose to promote more sustainable cotton production. Of the year’s many highlights, I’m proud to share that the Better Cotton programme continued to grow and deliver impact where it mattered most, and as of 2021, we can say that Better Cotton is mainstream – representing more than 20% of global cotton production.

Alan McClay, CEO, Better Cotton

In the report, we dive into the launch of our ambitious 2030 Strategy, our rebrand, Better Cotton’s financials and governance, and key focus areas and priorities for Better Cotton in 2021, sharing the developments we’ve made so far and plans to 2030.

Taking Climate Action

As well as agriculture having a role to play in reducing emissions, it also has the potential to store large quantities of atmospheric carbon in the soil. ​In 2021, we launched our climate mitigation target: by 2030, we aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of Better Cotton produced by 50% (compared to 2017 baseline). 

Developing a Traceability Solution 

We’ve developed a comprehensive four-year activity plan and detailed budget for introducing traceability into the Better Cotton network. Our top priority is to find ways to make this work in a way that delivers what consumers want in terms of traceability and what farmers need to achieve a thriving market.​

Focus on Farmer Centricity 

Without farmers, there would be no Better Cotton. In 2021, we invested time and resources into research to better understand what farmers need and want, whether Better Cotton is delivering on this, and how we can further improve our offering for farmers and their communities.  ​

Read the 2021 Annual Report

We will share the Annual Report results and more with attendees at the Better Cotton Conference, taking place on 22 & 23 June. Get your tickets here.

Read more

Cotton’s Hidden Voices: 25 May

Join Better Cotton’s Alia Malik, Senior Director of Data and Traceability, and other guest speakers on Wednesday 25 May for ‘Cotton’s Hidden Voices’, hosted by University of Leeds. The event will explore the complex, challenging and globally important history, production and consumption of cotton.

From field to fabric: cotton goes through a complex production process and is touched by many different hands in the supply chain before it can be transformed into the clothes you wear.

Join us to explore the environmental and social challenges of cotton production, and the complexity and diversity of cotton farming, which underpins the fashion industry. We’ll shine a light on some of the common sustainability challenges we hear about the fashion industry, before looking at the importance of cotton for farmers and their families. We’ll share insights from workers in the global supply chain, and examine what responsible consumption looks like for Western consumers, alongside the demands of fast fashion.

Speakers: Dr Mark Sumner (University of Leeds), Alia Malik (Better Cotton), Allan Williams (Cotton Research and Development Corporation – Australian Cotton)

Read more

Celebrating Soil on Earth Day 2022

The earth beneath our feet is a complex and living system. Just one teaspoon of healthy soil can contain more microorganisms than the total number of people on the planet.

Healthy soil is the starting point for farm productivity and sustainability. Without it, we could neither grow cotton nor support our growing global population. However, it is also often the most neglected and under-appreciated resource in farming.

On #EarthDay2022, we are focusing on soil health and the inspiring work that is happening on the ground to improve soil health in cotton farming.

What is soil health and why does it matter?

Learn more from our soil health experts

Farmer insights

Sabari Jagan Valvi joined the Better Cotton and Lupin Human Welfare And Research Foundation programme in India three years ago.

By adopting more sustainable farming practices such as intercropping and using vermicompost and neem extract, Sabari has witnessed an improvement in soil health on her farm and has managed to reduce her costs.

“This year I have sown cotton over two acres following the practices promoted by Better Cotton. Through single seed sowing and seed treatment, I managed to save 50% of the cost of sowing this season.” – Sabari Jagan Valvi, Better Cotton Farmer.

Join the discussion

At this year’s Better Cotton Conference – taking place in Malmö, Sweden and online on 22-23 June – we’ll be joined by partners and members to explore how regenerative agriculture can help to tackle climate change and much more.

Read more

Better Cotton Announces 2022 Conference Agenda

We are excited to announce the agenda for the Better Cotton Conference, taking place in Malmö and online on 22-23 June!

Attendees can look forward to joining thought-provoking sessions on the topics of regenerative agriculture, traceability, gender equality, climate change capacity building and many more. Below we share a sneak peek of the plenary and breakout sessions.

Plenary Sessions

Expert speakers from the cotton industry and beyond will lead a series of plenary sessions across the two-day conference, focusing on climate mitigation and adaptation, traceability, gender, sustainable sourcing, smallholder livelihoods and more. See a selection of the sessions below.

Climate Change Capacity Building in Collaboration with Forum for the Future and Cotton 2040 

Understanding the climate risks facing the cotton sector and exploring the implications for future production.  

How can the cotton sector build resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change? 

Smallholder Livelihoods & Farmer Panel 

What is needed to shift the economics of cotton farming, and so improve the livelihoods and wellbeing of smallholder farmers and their communities? How does climate change affect the options available to us? 

Spotlight on Women Taking Climate Action 

Highlighting the personal experiences of women taking climate action in cotton, exploring the link between climate change and gender equality.

Breakout Sessions

Expert speakers from the cotton industry and beyond will lead a series of plenary sessions across the two-day conference, focusing on climate mitigation and adaptation, traceability, gender, sustainable sourcing, smallholder livelihoods and more. See a selection of the sessions below.

Regenerative Agriculture 

How regenerative agriculture can help with climate action and much more. 

Ecosystem Service Payments 

How can ecosystem service payments be used effectively to benefit farmers? What are the opportunities and challenges? 

Delta Project 

Creating a shared approach to measuring and communicating sustainability progress – the Delta Framework

Join us in June to see how the sector can collaborate to create and drive collective impact in shaping a more sustainable future for cotton.  

The conference is sponsored by globally renowned organisations. We have a variety of sponsorship packages available, please contact [email protected] for more information. 

For more details, please visit the conference website

Read more

Share this page