”As long as you are here, I don’t face any challenges.” These are the words of Reheman Yibulayin, a BCI Farmer working with BCI Implementing Partner CottonConnect in China. His story about reducing input costs and improved yields is the winner of our annual Stories from the Field competition for Implementing Partners.
BCI Implementing Partners are crucial to the BCI model. They are the organisations who work most closely with cotton farmers, helping them to grow and sell Better Cotton. Working both directly with farmers and to train trainers, they carry out capacity-building work so that farmers can implement the Better Cotton Production Principles and Criteria, as well as collecting field-level data. This Partnership model expands BCI’s reach and enables scale-up which is critical to achieving the ultimate goal: Better Cotton as a more sustainable mainstream commodity. Every year, BCI runs a competition inviting Partners to relay stories of activities being implemented in the field, and the effect these activities have on individuals and producer communities.
This year’s competition winner, CottonConnect, have been an Implementing Partner of BCI’s since 2010 and are working with BCI on projects in China and India. A pioneering organisation with a social purpose, CottonConnect’s purpose is delivering business benefits to retailers and brands by connecting more sustainable cotton supply chains. They work across the whole supply chain from farm to finished garment, creating transparency, reducing risk and increasing security of supply for buyers.