Better Cotton will be at the forefront of cutting-edge sustainability conversations as it holds its symposium for Programme Partners in Phuket, Thailand from 6th – 8th February 2023. Over 130 representatives from across six countries will be attending in-person alongside the Better Cotton Council and its CEO, Alan McClay. The purpose of the meeting is to bring together Better Cotton Programme Partners to inspire progress, share best practices for implementing the Standard and to update partners on the latest exciting new initiatives. Programme Partners are the organisations that Better Cotton works with to reach millions of farmers, workers and their communities to improve the way they grow cotton.
One of the major themes spearheading this year’s symposium is the need to adapt to climate change and address the cotton sector’s future impacts to ensure more sustainable livelihoods.
The ‘Innovations Marketplace’ symposium is the first since the pandemic and provides an important opportunity for cross-sector dialogue between local partners in Thailand and international agricultural, commodities, textile and supply chain stakeholders. This annual event provides a unique forum to discuss the ground-breaking innovative tools and practices that have greatly impacted and shaped farmers growing Better Cotton. It will also provide the latest updates on the revised Better Cotton Standard, which lays out the global definition of guiding principles and criteria.
As in previous years, Better Cotton’s members, including the farmers they work with, can reflect on the insights, shifts and developments that have taken place to support and improve field practices. In past meetings, they have seen ground-breaking examples, from new farming models and training activities to alternative farming delivery mechanisms.
Day one highlights Better Cotton’s Climate Change Approach and includes a panel interview with Programme Partners on farm-level mitigation and adaptation best practices. In addition, climate data and its critical data points that help monitor climate change to benefit smallholders will be discussed. Attendees will also get the chance to hear the latest on Better Cotton’s Traceability programme and its links to insetting, farmer remuneration and payment for ecosystem services.
Day two highlights will focus on farmer and smallholder livelihoods with a panel on best practices for livelihood improvement and increased resilience of communities. Another key topic for discussion will be technology and how it can be leveraged further to support smallholders.
The full agenda topics being covered across the two days include:
- Climate action and capacity building
- Better Cotton’s Approach to Climate Change
- Farm-level mitigation and adaptation practices – Technical expert and Partner contributions
- Launch of the Online Resource Centre (ORC)
- Climate change and links to data and traceability
- A training cascade workshop – focusing on a follow-up to the farmer centricity and Field Facilitator / Producer Unit (PU) Manager surveys
- Livelihoods – Better Cotton’s Approach, partner activities and discussions on future plans
- Climate and livelihood innovations
- Innovations marketplace