Version 1.3, valid from 1 November 2023
Better Cotton Initiative (Better Cotton) is a multi-stakeholder organisation stewarding the Better Cotton Standard System. Better Cotton is the owner of the Better Cotton Platform and defines these Terms and Conditions.
Better Cotton Platform (BCP) is an online system owned by Better Cotton, and used by ginners, traders, spinners, other textile value chain actors, and by retailers and brands to document and make claims about their Better Cotton sourcing activities and sourced volumes.
BCP Account is the access point to the BCP for all types of companies who are sourcing Better Cotton. A BCP Account is given to one company which may comprise of one or more business units.
BCP User is the person who goes through Better Cotton’s online or in-person training on either the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Guidelines or Chain of Custody Standard and how to use the BCP. One BCP Account can have multiple BCP Users.
BCP Access, is the opportunity to access a BCP Account via one, or more BCP Users. BCP Access can be given to Better Cotton Members, and non-members.
Better Cotton Claim Unit (BCCU) is a Better Cotton-specific unit that corresponds to 1 KG of physical Better Cotton lint and procured from a participating Better Cotton ginner by a cotton merchant or a spinning mill. This unit is used for mass balance Better Cotton orders.
Better Cotton Lint Equivalent (BCLE) is a Better Cotton-specific unit that corresponds to 1 KG of physical Better Cotton lint and procured from a participating Better Cotton ginner by a cotton merchant or a spinning mill. This unit is used for physical Better Cotton orders.
Site is a single functional unit of an organisation, or a combination of units situated in one locality, where a supply chain organisation carries out production or processing. Organisations may have multiple sites. Some organisations may qualify for multi-site access.
Site CoC access is the term that shows which type of orders a Trader, Supplier or Retailer / Brand can make in the BCP. This is generally split into Mass Balance, or Mass Balance & Physical, with suppliers in Uzbekistan restricted to Physical only.
Ginner CoC Onboarding is the term that shows which chain of custody version a Ginner is following. This can include major version changes (e.g. the change from CoC Guidelines to the CoC Standard) and minor changes such as CoC Standard v1.0 to v1.1.
Site Inventory is the amount of physical Better Cotton products or Better Cotton Claim Units recorded on the BCP for a given site.
Further terms and definition can be found in the Better Cotton Chain of Custody v1.0 Terminology and Definitions document.
1.1. This document sets out the terms and conditions which shall govern access to the Better Cotton Platform (hereinafter referred to as ‘BCP Access’). As the owner of the BCP, Better Cotton reserves the right to modify these Terms and Conditions, including any documents linked to these Terms and Conditions. The English version of this Agreement shall be binding. Any translated version shall serve for information purpose only. By using the BCP, you are accepting these Terms and Conditions, and any further updates or changes. If you are not in agreement with the Terms and Conditions, then you should refrain from further use of the BCP.
1.2. BCP Access is available for
1.2.1. Better Cotton Members (Members),
Better Cotton Members have unlimited BCP Access within reason. BCP Access is a membership benefit as per the Better Cotton Statutes, art 6.4.3. Better Cotton Membership is regulated in the Terms of Membership.
1.2.2. Other Companies (Non-Members)
Organisations that are not Better Cotton Members can have a limited BCP Access, as regulated in Section 3 of these Terms and Conditions. This BCP Access is limited to one BCP Account, per application. If a company, or group of companies wish to have multiple BCP Accounts they are required to purchase multiple accesses.
1.3. BCP Access must be registered at Site level. A BCP Account can only be registered for one Site, and it must relate to where the cotton is being processed or handled. A company with multiple Sites must register one BCP Account for each Site.
1.3.1. Companies who receive finished products and traders who operate under the multi-site protocol are exempt from the requirement in 1.3.
1.5. These Terms and Conditions are applicable to companies and/or Sites operating under the applicable version of the Better Cotton Chain of custody rules (as per article 2.2), and any other associated normative documents, including, but not limited to the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Monitoring and Assessment Procedure.
2.1. To be eligible for BCP Access the company must be a registered legal entity, paid the associated fees and passed the training courses corresponding to the BCP Account type and CoC Access the company has.
2.2. The company shall adhere to applicable requirements which govern the flow of Better Cotton. This shall be either:
2.2.1. the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Guidelines v1.4 or
2.2.2. the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Standard
and associated normative documents. This includes participation without delay in any assessment or investigation performed by, or on behalf of Better Cotton.
2.3. The representative that will act as the primary BCP User must complete and pass an online training course for the relevant account type. The primary contact is also responsible for all subsequent BCP Users of the BCP Account being properly trained.
2.4. It is the responsibility of the company applying for BCP Access to ensure that all applicable requirements are met, including having full knowledge of the latest applicable version of the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Guidelines or Standard and associated normative documents. The company shall also ensure that their associated sites are properly set up on the BCP as per article 1.3.
2.5. Before gaining access to physical transactions on the BCP the company must be verified to the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Standard v1.0 which includes but is not limited to:
2.5.1. Submission of a completed Supplier Registration form for all sites that will handle physical Better Cotton,
2.5.2. Meet the criteria outlined in the Better Cotton Chain of Custody Eligibility Criteria Policy, and clarify any outstanding documentation or information requests from Better Cotton
2.5.3. Pass a third-party site assessment, as required by Better Cotton
2.5.4. Complete the training course as per article 2.1 and 2.4.
2.6. The company shall not engage in any activity which could damage the reputation or interests of Better Cotton or the integrity of the BCP and is not subject to any international sanctions. Better Cotton reserves the right to define such activities, which include but are not limited to labour rights violations, not respecting contract sanctity or environmental damage.
3. Non-member BCP Access
3.1. A company that is not a Member of Better Cotton can apply for non-member BCP Access, which is limited to one BCP (1) Account and two (2) BCP Users. Applications are made via an electronic form where payment is done either via credit card, or via international bank transfer. If for any reason the electronic form does not function, alternative form is provided, for the alternative form the only payment option is international bank transfer.
3.2. When the form has been submitted and the requirements in article 2.1 are met Better Cotton will activate the BCP Access, with the start date as per article 3.5. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure all steps are fulfilled in a timely manner. Better Cotton is not responsible for any delay in activation of the BCP Access because of a company not fulfilling the steps outlined in this section in a diligent manner.
Fees and Payment
3.3. The fee for one non-member BCP Access is 595 € and is valid for 12 months. The fee is subject to review on an annual basis.
3.4. There are two options for paying for non-member BCP Access.
- VISA or Mastercard
- International bank transfer
3.5. The validity period for BCP Access is 12 months. The first validity period starts on the 1st of the month following the submission of the application form. The validity period is not dependent on when the BCP Access is activated, which is defined in article 3.2.
3.6. BCP Access is renewed annually by paying a renewal fee. Instructions on how to pay the renewal fee are sent to the primary contact approximately 30 days prior to the expiry date of the validity period. The renewal fee must be paid in a timely manner so that it is properly reconciled in Better Cotton’s account at the latest on the expiry date of the validity period.
3.7. The renewal fee is based on the applicable fee as per article 3.3 on the expiry date of the current validity period, or the payment date, whichever comes first.
3.8. When paying via international bank transfer the applicant is responsible for covering all related bank charges, including local taxes.
3.9. Better Cotton will not reimburse or pro-rate fees if:
3.9.1. BCP Access is activated after the validity period start date because the applicant did not fulfil the steps in article 3.2 before the validity period start date.
3.9.2. BCP Access is suspended according to article 5.1, and eventually permanently closed according to articles 5.2-3.
4.1. Companies with BCP Access can use the following statements, separately or together, when they communicate about Better Cotton.
4.1.1. ‘We work with Members of Better Cotton to connect to the Better Cotton Chain of Custody.’
4.1.2. ‘We have passed the Better Cotton Chain of Custody training and have access to the Better Cotton Platform’.
4.2. Members shall adhere to the rules outlined in either the Better Cotton Claims Framework or the Better Cotton Supplier and Manufacturer Member Claims Toolkit, which governs all communication about Better Cotton by Suppliers and Manufacturer members, including the use of the Better Cotton logo.
4.3. Non-Better Cotton member companies with BCP Access are restricted to only use the statements in sub-sections 4.1.1 and 4.1.2.
5.1. A company that has not paid its fees will have its BCP Access blocked on the day following the validity period end date. If the renewal fee has not been paid 6 months after the validity end date the BCP Account will be closed permanently.
5.2. A company that is in breach of these Terms and Conditions will have its BCP Access blocked and Better Cotton will without delay notify the company specifying which paragraph they are in breach of, requesting them to correct it, where appropriate. Notification is considered valid via electronic mail to the primary BCP User contact. Better Cotton will not send any notification for blocking related to non-payment as per article 5.1.
5.3. A company that has been notified of a breach according to section 5.2 has 6 months to correct the breach, after that period the BCP Account will be closed permanently.
5.4. All BCCUs and/or physical Better Cotton Site Inventory associated with a permanently closed BCP Account will be forfeited.
5.5. To the extent permitted by the applicable law, Better Cotton’s maximum liability to a company under these Terms and Conditions, whether in contract, tort, or otherwise (including any liability for any negligent act or omission) for damages, howsoever arising, shall be limited in the aggregate (whether the liability arises out of only one or more than one separate incident) to an amount equal to the fees for the BCP Access that the company pays for in respect of the relevant validity period of the BCP Access in which the damages occur.
6. Applicable Law and Jurisdiction
6.1. The present contract (including these Terms and Conditions) shall in all respects be exclusively governed by, construed, and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland, under complete exclusion of its conflict of laws provisions and of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods of April 1980.
6.2. Any dispute, controversy, or claim arising out of, or in relation to, the present contract (including these Terms and Conditions), including the validity, invalidity, breach, or termination thereof, shall be resolved by arbitration administered by the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution in accordance with the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration of the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution in force on the date on which the Notice of Arbitration is submitted in accordance with these Rules. The number of arbitrators shall be one. The seat of the arbitration shall be Geneva, Switzerland. The arbitral proceedings shall be conducted in English.