Chain of Custody
Photo Credit: Better Cotton/Baran Vardar. Harran, Turkey 2022. Cotton field.

Better Cotton is today announcing that on 10 May we will host a webinar to celebrate our next step towards making tracing physical Better Cotton a reality. On that date, we will publish a revised version of the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Guidelines, renamed as the Chain of Custody Standard.

As defined by ISEAL, a chain of custody is the ‘custodial sequence that occurs as ownership or control of the material supply is transferred from one custodian to another in the supply chain’. From the farmers who grow Better Cotton to the companies that source it, the Better Cotton Chain of Custody (CoC) is the documentation and evidence of Better Cotton as it moves through the supply chain.

Up until now, our CoC Guidelines allowed two chain of custody models: product segregation between the farm and gin, and mass balance beyond the gin (read more about these models here). The new CoC Standard will continue to offer this combination, but also introduce the opportunity to implement physical chain of custody models across the whole supply chain. This will make it possible for our Members to source physical Better Cotton alongside mass balance.

Better Cotton has been revising its Chain of Custody Guidelines, the key framework which connects demand with the supply of Better Cotton, since July 2021. As part of the revision of the Guidelines, an extensive research and consultation process has taken place, involving Better Cotton stakeholder groups as well as external experts in the field. This included surveying over 1,500 Better Cotton suppliers, commissioning two independent research studies, convening an industry task force with Member Suppliers and Retailers and Brands, and multiple stakeholder workshops.

The revision was incentivised by the increased demand for tracing physical Better Cotton, which requires the introduction of physical chain of custody models alongside mass balance. The new CoC Standard will introduce physical segregation and controlled blending as additional chain of custody models, creating the opportunity for our members to trace physical Better Cotton whilst also continuing to use the mass balance model.

The Chain of Custody Standard v 1.0 will be introduced by a webinar to provide further information on key updates and changes to the previous CoC Guidelines. The webinar will be hosted on 10 May 2023 and take place in two sessions to accommodate different time zones. The CoC Standard document will be published on the same date on our website.

To find out more, we encourage all Better Cotton Members and stakeholders to register for the webinar on 10 May using one of the following links*:

• Session 1: 08:00 – 09:00 (UTC+1) Registration link
• Session 2: 15:00 – 16:00 (UTC+1) Registration link

*Please note that both sessions include the same content, so there is no need to attend both.

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