Egyptian Cotton is known for its superior fibre quality. Now, there is strong demand for more sustainable Egyptian Cotton from international and local textile suppliers as well as retailers who are looking for the superior quality along with sustainability credentials.

Following a successful pilot project in 2019 and completion of the necessary new country start-up process, Egypt officially became a new BCI Programme country in May 2020 as part of a renewed drive in the country to increase sustainability and improve conditions for Egyptian cotton farmers.

Together with the Cotton Research Institute and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), BCI Implementing Partners will ensure that farmers receive the knowledge and tools to improve their agricultural practices and their livelihoods.

There is a high level of multi-stakeholder engagement in Egypt from government agencies, civil society organisations, trade associations, farmer associations and commercial actors within the value chain, which will allow the BCI Programme to be implemented in a robust way.

Who grows Better Cotton?

In the 2020-21 cotton season, approximately 2,000 smallholder cotton farmers will be participating in the BCI Programme, receiving training on

the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria. By adhering to these principles, farmers produce cotton in a way that is measurably better for the environment and farming communities. From the 2020-21 cotton season onwards, farmers in Egypt who participate in the Better Cotton Standard System will be eligible to receive a licence to grow and sell ‘Better Cotton’.

The BCI Programmes in Egypt are located in the Kafr El Sheikh and Damietta Governorates.

Who are BCI’s Implementing Partners in Egypt?

Implementing Partners (IPs) are BCI’s on-the-ground partners who are responsible for supporting and training farmers to continuously improve their sustainable agricultural practices. BCI’s IPs in Egypt are Modern Nile Cotton and ALKAN.

Voices from the Field

Photo: Rehab ElDalil/UNIDO Egypt

“I have been working as a cotton picker for the past 30 years. With the recent collaborations and developments, I hope the cotton industry in Egypt thrives, as well as my income.”

— Safeya, Egyptian Cotton Picker. Damietta, Egypt. 2018.