As part of the BBC Radio 4’s Consumer Affairs programme ‘You and Yours,’ a series of programmes have been aired over the last few weeks exploring the many challenges faced in cotton production in India. In the concluding part of this series, our CEO Patrick Laine was interviewed by the BBC, and journalist Rahul Tandon followed a John Lewis bath mat from field to store, exploring the company’s social responsibility in the cotton supply chain. Also interviewed were Alison Ward CEO of Cotton Connect, Steven Cawley Head of Sustainability at John Lewis and Pramod Singh IKEA Cotton Project Manager in India. The interview focuses on the systemic use of child labour in cotton production, and the ways in which organisations such as BCI are working towards eradicating the issues associated with this in a responsible manner. Other key topics of discussion throughout the programme focus on both the financial benefits and savings to farmers when growing cotton sustainably, and increased yields.
Patrick also discussed the complexities of physical traceability in the cotton supply chain: “We fight as hard as we can to avoid becoming a premium eco-niche product. In order to have the impact on the planet, you need to be mainstream.” said Patrick.
To listen to the programme in full, follow the link to the BBC podcast by clicking here.