The Better Cotton Assurance Programme is a key component of the Better Cotton Standard System. It involves farmers participating in a continuous cycle of learning and improvement, and it forms the central mechanism for assessing whether farmers can grow and sell Better Cotton.
The Better Cotton Assurance Programme protocol has recently been updated to include some minor clarifications. The updates in Version 3.1 include the following:
- If a non-conformity with a Core Indicator of the Better Cotton Principles & Criteria is identified during an external assessment, a Corrective Action Plan is required to be prepared and implemented. This responsibility is now with the Producer Unit Managers with the support of BCI’s Implementing Partners (where required). (Section 3).
- Additional details have been added to define the exceptional circumstances where a reoccurring incidental non-conformity on a particular indicator may retain its grading as an incidental non-conformity rather than being escalated to a systemic non-conformity. (Section 6.4).
- Further information has been added to the Assurance Programme overview document to provide increased clarity around what constitutes as a licence cancellation, suspension and denial for Producer Units and Large Farms. (Section 7.3).
- Producers have the right to appeal against a licencing decision. The appeals timeline has been revised to 10 working days from the point of being informed of the licensing decision, an increase from 10 calendar days. (Section 9).
The Better Cotton Assurance Programme protocol V3.1 can be found on the Assurance Programme pages of BCI’s website.
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