Call for Proposals: Better Cotton Innovation & Learning Project

Photo Credit: Better cotton/Emma Upton

Location: Khujand, Tajikistan. 2019. Description: Better Cotton Farmer Sharipov Habibullo delivers training to neighbouring farmers.

Together with longstanding partner IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative, Better Cotton has launched a new Innovation & Learning Project to seek solutions that will help Better Cotton and its Implementing Partners accelerate positive impact for cotton farmers around the world.

The Innovation & Learning Project addresses three key areas:

Focus area 1: How can Better Cotton make progress towards its 2030 strategy impact areas?

What we are looking for: Solutions that will help strengthen and make progress towards Better Cotton’s five impact areas for 2030: soil health, women’s empowerment, smallholder livelihoods, pesticides and toxicity, and climate change mitigation.

Focus area 2: How can Better Cotton support farmers adapting their lives to a changing climate?

What we are looking for: Solutions that can help us to identify, modify, and replicate (at scale) relevant climate change adaptation practices, particularly among smallholder farmers.

Focus area 3: How can Better Cotton learn more about the quality of training delivered to farmers?

What we are looking for: Solutions that can help Better Cotton and our Implementing Partners to set up strong monitoring and evaluation systems with feedback loops going back to farmers.

Proposals for any one of the three themes above may include new operational processes, field interventions, behavioural insights, or ways of delivering programme activities in such a way that it benefits more cotton farmers. Innovation also includes taking existing approaches and applying them in new ways, in new regions or in new contexts.

At Better Cotton, we are focused on delivering real impact for cotton farmers and farming communities around the world. This means continuously improving our practices, while looking for innovative solutions to cotton farming challenges. We are delighted to launch this new project in collaboration with IDH and encourage those with experience and expertise in the project focus areas to submit a proposal.

Learn more about the project and find out how to submit a proposal.

This call for proposals is open to existing Better Cotton Implementing Partners and external organisations. The deadline for submissions is 29 October 2021.

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Better Cotton launches the Growth and Innovation Fund

BCI has launched its Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF), which came into force on 1 January 2016. The Fund is BCI’s new global investment vehicle for supporting Better Cotton projects in cotton-growing regions around the world. The scale of the Fund will help BCI advance its goal of reaching 5 million farmers and accounting for 30% of global cotton production by 2020. The portfolio is jointly run by BCI, its partners and members from the worlds of business, civil society and government. The Fund is managed by BCI’s strategic partner IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, which also ran the very successful Better Cotton Fast Track Programme (BCFTP) from 2010 to 2015.

Joint investments in training and capacity building enable the BCI GIF to address the most pressing sustainability issues in cotton farming, including pesticide use, water efficiency and severe working conditions such as child labour, gender issues andunfair pay. By mobilising public and private funds, BCI strives to mainstream Better Cotton, which is grown in a way that is measurably better for the environment and farming communities. The fund invests in capacity building programmes that train cotton producers to optimise inputs, use chemicals in a safer manner, increase yields and generate higher profits. The model is based on continuous improvement, which means BCI farmers are required to develop plans to continuously improve their practices over time.

Private partners in the Fund are some of the world’s largest cotton buyers, including adidas, H&M, IKEA, Nike, Levi Strauss & Co. and M&S, who have agreed to pay a volume-based fee related to their use of Better Cotton. Retailers and brands who use Better Cotton in their supply chains contribute to the funding of farmer capacity building. BCI currently has a retailer and brand membership of over 50 organisations, with a target to pass 60 by the end of 2016. Global institutional donors are invited to match the fees contributed by the private sector in order to achieve a multiplier effect.

The BCI GIF (and its predecessor the BCFTP) offer a five year track record of effective large-scale fund management. Results collected each year show strong positive changes in the field, which translate into large-scale environmental benefits as well as social and economic improvements for cotton producers and their families. For 2014 results, please see our most recent Harvest Report.

 

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BESTSELLER join the Better Cotton Fast Track Program

We are excited to announce that BESTSELLERhave become the newest Member of the Better Cotton Fast Track Program (BTFCP). One of Europe’s largest fashion brands, BESTSELLERhas been a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) since 2011 and are now stepping up their commitment to sourcing more Better Cotton.

The BCFTP was set up in 2010 through the sustainable trade initiative and leading NGO’s to channel funds directly to farmer training and capacity-building programs designed around the Better Cotton Standard. This allows BCI and its partners to reach more regions, train more farmers and produce more Better Cotton, dramatically accelerating the scale up of Better Cotton worldwide.

To read BCFTP’s announcement on their newest member, click here.

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