Cotton Sector Comes Together to Drive Climate Action

Last week, Better Cotton welcomed more than 450 participants from 50 countries to the Better Cotton Conference in Malmö, Sweden and online. Together, we examined the overarching conference theme of climate action through a variety of lenses, including gender, smallholder livelihoods, traceability and sustainable finance.

Over two days, we heard from more than 70 inspiring speakers representing the entire cotton supply chain – from Better Cotton Farmers to organisations such as Forum for the Future, Walmart, IKEA, Marks and Spencer, Tony’s Chocolonely, Rainforest Alliance, WWF and many more.

We had a fantastic few days of collaboration, challenging ideas and passion. From Safia Minney’s keynote address that spotlighted issues in the fashion industry and the opportunities for businesses to move towards a regenerative model, to our breakout panel on measuring and reporting on impact that sparked a dynamic discussion on how the cotton industry can align around the right metrics, we covered a lot of ground in a short timeframe.

There to capture the discussions visually was the graphic artist Carlotta Cataldi, who created wonderful illustrations that showcase the depth and breadth of topics covered. 

We want to say a huge thank you to our sponsors – ChainPoint, Cotton Brazil, Gildan, JFS SAN, Louis Dreyfus Company, Spectrum and Supima –speakers, attendees, the organising team, our event partners Altitude Meetings, and Better Cotton staff who made the Better Cotton Conference possible.

The conference may be over, but let’s keep the momentum going as we work together to drive climate action in cotton. 

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Last Chance to Register for the 2022 Better Cotton Conference

There is just one day left to register to attend the 2022 Better Cotton Conference online. Don’t miss out! Register by 5pm CEST on Tuesday 21 June to secure your spot.

The packed two-day conference includes a series of keynotes led by Better Cotton Farmers and Members, as well as plenaries and breakout sessions on the following topics:

  • Climate change capacity building
  • Smallholder livelihoods
  • Breakthrough approaches
  • Women taking climate action
  • Impact investing and sustainable finance
  • Smallholder and large farm panels
  • Traceability in cotton
  • Regenerative agriculture
  • Landscape approaches
  • Due diligence in cotton
  • The evolving legislative landscape
  • Ecosystem service payments
  • Sustainable sourcing targets
  • Measuring and reporting on impact
  • And more

The conference will bring the entire cotton sector together on 22 & 23 June 2022 in Malmö, Sweden and online, to explore the theme of Climate Action + Cotton and collaborate on a more sustainable future for the cotton sector.  

Join us to engage in insightful sessions, dynamic dialogue and an opportunity to meet face to face with peers once again.

Thank you to our conference sponsors.

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Two Days Left to Register to Attend the Better Cotton Conference in Person

There are just two weeks to go until we bring our global cotton community together at the Better Cotton Conference in Malmö, Sweden and online. In-person registrations close on Wednesday 8 June at 17:00 CEST and we encourage you to purchase your tickets today to secure your place. Virtual registration remains open until Tuesday 20 June, 17:00 CEST.  

Keynote Speakers

Panellists

We have a fantastic line-up of keynote speakers and panellists, including Better Cotton Farmers and representatives from across the cotton sector and beyond. You can look forward to hearing insights from the following organisations:

Tony’s Chocolonely
Fashion Declares & People Tree
EU Commission
FAO
WWF
Textile Exchange
ABRAPA
GAP UNDP
Landscape Finance Lab
Laudes Foundation
Quantis
Vardeman Farms Partnership

Rainforest Alliance
IKEA
Solidaridad
IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative
FairTrade
Fair Capital
Lupin Foundation
CommonLand Foundation
Walmart
Cotton Australia
British International Investments

Forum for the Future
Somnath Farmer Producer Organisation
ISEAL
Pesticide Action Network UK
Chainpoint
Anthesis Group
Farmer Connect
Delta Project
Wageningen University
JFS Group
Rabobank

Networking and Social Events

As well as a variety of meetings taking place around the conference, in-person attendees can also look forward to the following networking and social events:  

Welcome Reception: Tuesday 21 June, 18:00 – 20:00 CEST
Join us for a welcome reception on a rooftop bar to kick start the conference.  

Networking Breakfasts: Wednesday 22 & Thursday 23 June, 08:00 – 09:00 CEST
Our morning networking sessions will provide a great opportunity to meet with peers before the conference sessions begin.  

Better Cotton Conference Dinner: Wednesday 22 June, 19:30 – 23:00 CEST
Experience a summer evening in Sweden with live music entertainment and a three-course meal in a beautifully rustic venue.  

Registration for these events is essential and can be selected during your ticket purchase.  

Join us to engage in insightful sessions, dynamic dialogue and an opportunity to meet face to face with peers once again.  

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More Speakers Announced for the Better Cotton Conference

With just seven weeks to go until the Better Cotton Conference takes place in Malmö, Sweden and online, we are excited to share details on more inspiring speakers who will be joining us!

Join us and hear from speakers across the entire cotton supply chain, from cotton farmers to retail giants, including:  

  • Anita Chester, Head of Materials | Laudes Foundation 
  • Balubhai Parmar | Better Cotton Farmer and Board Member, Somnath Farmer Producer Organisation (SFPO)
  • Brooke Summers, Supply Chain Consultant | Cotton Australia 
  • Christoph Gosdenoz, Founding Partner | FairCapital  
  • Dhaval Neghandi, Associate Director, Climate | Forum for the Future & Cotton 2040
  • Lacy Cotter Vardeman | Better Cotton Farmer
  • Marco Reyes, Senior Director of Sustainability | Walmart Stores, Inc.
  • Mona Kassem, Export and Import Manager | ALKAN Mohamed Nosseir for Trading & Industry  
  • Vamshi Krishna Pulluri, Associate Director Sustainable Agriculture | WWF India 

You can also look forward to thought-provoking sessions in collaboration with: 

  • EU Commission 
  • FAO 
  • WWF 
  • Textile Exchange 
  • Forest Stewardship Council 
  • Rainforest Alliance 
  • Solidaridad 
  • IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative 
  • Fairtrade 
  • Fair Capital 
  • Lupin 
  • ISEAL 
  • Pesticide Action Network (PAN) UK
  • Chainpoint 
  • Anthesis Group 
  • Farmer Connect 
  • Delta Project 
  • Wageningen University 
  • GAP-UNDP 
  • Commonland 
  • Landscape Finance Lab 
  • And more

The conference will bring the entire cotton sector together on 22 & 23 June 2022 in Malmö, Sweden and online, to explore the theme of Climate Action + Cotton and collaborate on a more sustainable future for the cotton sector.  

Thank you to our conference sponsors. We have a variety of sponsorship packages available, please contact [email protected] for more information. 

For more details, please visit the conference website

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Better Cotton Announces Conference Keynote Speakers

We are excited to announce two inspiring Better Cotton Farmers — Balubhai Parmar and Lacy Cotter Vardeman — as keynote speakers at the Better Cotton Conference.

The conference will bring the entire cotton sector together on 22 & 23 June 2022 in Malmö, Sweden and online, to explore the theme of Climate Action + Cotton and collaborate on a more sustainable future for this remarkable plant.

Meet the Keynote Speakers

At Better Cotton, we work across all kinds of farm types, sizes and farming contexts in over 20 countries, from smallholders to large-scale mechanised farms. Farmers are at the heart of Better Cotton, and they will be at the heart of the Better Cotton Conference. 

Balubhai Parmar, India

Photo Credit: Better Cotton/Vibhor Yadav. India. 2019.

Balubhai, a cotton farmer from Gujarat, India, is helping to lead an enterprising group of Better Cotton Farmers who founded their own organisation — the Somnath Farmer Producer Organisation — in 2013, putting themselves at the forefront of continuously improving their members’ performance. The organisation helps its members — all of whom are licensed Better Cotton Farmers — to save costs and achieve fairer prices for their cotton, while developing new ways to boost their income.

Farmers don’t believe words alone, they have to see it to believe it. So, we invite farmers to visit the fields of farmers who are doing well and show them the effects of using more sustainable practices. When they see the results, farmers really start believing.” 

During his keynote address, and by participating in our smallholder farmer session, Balubhai will share his experiences of the economic, environmental and social challenges and opportunities facing cotton farmers in India today. 

Hear more from Balubhai in this short video.

Lacy Vardeman, United States

Photo credit: Lacy Vardeman.

Lacy, a cotton farmer based in Texas, US, has a strong love for agriculture as her father’s family has been ranchers in New Mexico since the 1850s, and her husband, Dean, farms cotton south of Lubbock, Texas. Interested in conservation, she helped organise the Sand Hills Area Recreation Association (SARA) which concentrates on conservation and eco-tourism in the Texas Sandhills area of Bailey and Cochran counties.

In Texas, over 90 percent of the land is privately owned. We literally own our state and the minerals and water under our property; therefore, we must be proactive in protecting and caring for our resources.”

Lacy will speak from the large farm perspective, addressing issues and innovations, as well as challenges and opportunities in cotton farming in the US.

By registering for the conference today, you can look forward to hearing first hand accounts from Better Cotton Farmers and to joining thought-provoking sessions on the topics of regenerative agriculture, traceability, gender equality, climate change capacity building and many more. 

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Better Cotton Announces 2022 Conference Agenda

We are excited to announce the agenda for the Better Cotton Conference, taking place in Malmö and online on 22-23 June!

Attendees can look forward to joining thought-provoking sessions on the topics of regenerative agriculture, traceability, gender equality, climate change capacity building and many more. Below we share a sneak peek of the plenary and breakout sessions.

Plenary Sessions

Expert speakers from the cotton industry and beyond will lead a series of plenary sessions across the two-day conference, focusing on climate mitigation and adaptation, traceability, gender, sustainable sourcing, smallholder livelihoods and more. See a selection of the sessions below.

Climate Change Capacity Building in Collaboration with Forum for the Future and Cotton 2040 

Understanding the climate risks facing the cotton sector and exploring the implications for future production.  

How can the cotton sector build resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change? 

Smallholder Livelihoods & Farmer Panel 

What is needed to shift the economics of cotton farming, and so improve the livelihoods and wellbeing of smallholder farmers and their communities? How does climate change affect the options available to us? 

Spotlight on Women Taking Climate Action 

Highlighting the personal experiences of women taking climate action in cotton, exploring the link between climate change and gender equality.

Breakout Sessions

Expert speakers from the cotton industry and beyond will lead a series of plenary sessions across the two-day conference, focusing on climate mitigation and adaptation, traceability, gender, sustainable sourcing, smallholder livelihoods and more. See a selection of the sessions below.

Regenerative Agriculture 

How regenerative agriculture can help with climate action and much more. 

Ecosystem Service Payments 

How can ecosystem service payments be used effectively to benefit farmers? What are the opportunities and challenges? 

Delta Project 

Creating a shared approach to measuring and communicating sustainability progress – the Delta Framework

Join us in June to see how the sector can collaborate to create and drive collective impact in shaping a more sustainable future for cotton.  

The conference is sponsored by globally renowned organisations. We have a variety of sponsorship packages available, please contact [email protected] for more information. 

For more details, please visit the conference website

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Better Cotton Conference Registration Is Open: Early Bird Tickets Available for Two Weeks

We are pleased to announce that registration for the Better Cotton Conference 2022 is now open!  

Hosted in a hybrid format—with both virtual and in-person options for joining—we look forward to the opportunity to bring our global cotton community together and engage face-to-face once again. 

Date: 22 – 23 June 2022 
Location: Malmö, Sweden or join us online  
Audience: Public
Price: Early bird tickets start at €272 (excl. VAT)

Register before 4 April 2022 to take advantage of the early bird rates. 


Conference Theme

This year the conference theme is Climate Action. We will be exploring a wide range of topics through this lens including: 

  • regenerative agriculture,
  • traceability,
  • gender equality,
  • climate change capacity building and many more.

Join us to see how the sector can collaborate in these areas to create and drive collective impact in shaping a more sustainable future for cotton. 


Sponsorship Opportunities

We have a number of sponsorship opportunities available, from supporting cotton farmers’ travel to the event, to sponsoring the conference dinner.

Please contact Events Coordinator Annie Ashwell at [email protected] to find out more. 

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Global Cotton Sustainability Conference | Meet the Speaker: Reuben Turner

As of 20 March 2020, the Global Cotton Sustainability Conference in Lisbon moved from 9-11 June 2020, to be hosted on 2-4 March 2021. The decision to postpone was in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its global impact on health and travel.

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In just a few months’ time, the 4th annual Global Cotton Sustainability Conference will take place in Lisbon. Farmers, brands, manufacturers, suppliers, NGOs, civil society organisations, agricultural experts and researchers will meet to collaborate on a more sustainable future for cotton.

Ahead of the conference, we caught up with the keynote speakers to gather their insights on key industry challenges and the innovations they are particularly excited about right now.

Meet Reuben Turner, Creative Partner and Founder, GOOD Agency

Reuben Turner has a long and distinguished background in marketing and advertising for social purpose. He is co-founder of London-based creative agency GOOD, one of the first agencies founded with social, ethical and environmental principles at its core.

As well as having worked with a number of leading NGOs, Reuben focuses on helping commercial brands understand, define and grow through social purpose, with current clients including Pernod Ricard, the Kingfisher group and leading fashion brand ESCADA.

How have approaches to defining and communicating an organisation’s purpose changed over time?

For a long time, an organisation’s “purpose’ was primarily about statements, manifestos or mood films. Although business leaders understood the need to have an organising principle that would make an emotional connection with stakeholders, staff and customers, they saw it primarily as a brand or positioning project. That led us to the era of “purposewash’, where brands would make emotive claims to stand for things or awkwardly link themselves to social issues.

How damaging is “purposewash’?

In an era of accelerate climate change, social division and structural inequality, such claims are rightly being seen as superficial, and it’s arguably added to the cynicism and distrust that so many people feel towards business. Simply put, we don’t have time for “purposewash’ anymore. It’s not solving the corporate world’s trust issue.

How can organisations get it right?

Today, there’s a new breed of business leaders who understand that statements are the start, not the end of the purpose journey. What actually matters is what businesses DO: the actions they take, the policies they change, the product innovations they invest in and the ways in which they help customers live healthier, more sustainable and equitable lives. These are all things that people care far more about than adverts.

Are there any innovative approaches to communicating purpose which you are particularly excited about right now?

I’ve been talking for a couple of years about the dynamic of “ally brands’ – these are brands that reject traditional leadership principles and think deeply how they can authentically be an ally to groups that need them. That could be working mothers struggling to make themselves heard at work or marginalised communities around the world. Ally brands grow their power and influence by seeing and sharing it. That’s counterintuitive to most brand thinkers but it’s a fundamentally important role in an unequal world.

You can hear Reuben Turner speak at the Global Cotton Sustainability Conference, which has been moved to 2-4 March 2021 in light of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Find out more and register here.

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2019 Global Cotton Sustainability Conference: Speakers and Sessions Announced

The 2019 Global Cotton Sustainability Conference will bring the entire sector together on 12 – 13 June, to shape a more sustainable future for cotton. Join industry leaders and experts in Shanghai for an interactive opportunity to explore topics at field level, in the supply chain and in consumer-facing business.

The scope of the annual conference hosted by BCI has been enhanced this year, and BCI is collaborating with other sustainable cotton standards and initiatives – including Organic Cotton Accelerator, Textile Exchange, Cotton Made in Africa, Fairtrade International and Cotton Australia – to develop the agenda.

Register here.

Confirmed speakers represent the entire cotton supply chain, from cotton farms to retail giants. Join us and hear from many great speakers, including: Christophe Roussel, Executive Vice President at GAP Inc.; Almas Parveen, BCI Field Facilitator and Farmer, REEDS; Daniel Gustafson, Deputy Director-General (Programmes) at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO); and Anita Chester, Head of Sustainable Raw Materials, C&A Foundation.

You can look forward to thought-provoking sessions, including:

Keynote sessions

  • Good Business Can Change the World
  • Creating Change in Global Agriculture

Plenary panel discussions

  • Experiences from the Field: Smallholder Farmers
  • Experiences from the Field: Large Scale Farmers

Breakout sessions

  • Women in Agriculture
  • Adapting to a Warmer World
  • Demystifying the Value of Raw Cotton: An Introduction to Value Differences and Cotton Classification
  • And more

Register here.

The conference is sponsored by many globally renowned organisations. We have a variety of sponsorship packages available, please contact [email protected] for more information.

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