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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Save the Date: Better Cotton Conference

Better Cotton Conference

22-23 June 2022

After two years of adapted online engagement due to the pandemic, we are excited to share the dates for the next Better Cotton Conference.

Hosted in a hybrid format—with both virtual and in-person options for joining—we look forward to the opportunity to engage face-to-face again. As we consider the ongoing pandemic in our planning to allow safe and inclusive participation, details on our programme, registration, location and more will be shared soon.

Transforming the cotton sector is not the work of one organisation alone. Save 22-23 June in your calendars to join the Better Cotton community at this major event for stakeholders in the sustainable cotton sector.

Save the date and  join us in shaping a more sustainable future for cotton!


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Better Cotton Launches New Cotton Sustainability Digital Series for 2021

 
We are delighted to launch a new Cotton Sustainability Digital Series for 2021!Sessions and speakers originally curated for the in-person 2021 Global Cotton Sustainability Conference will now be coming to you live online, at more accessible rates and times across the entire year.

Join BCI and partners throughout 2021 for the monthly Cotton Sustainability Digital Series, where the entire sector will come together to shape a more sustainable future for cotton.

Connect with industry leaders and experts andexplore the entire cotton value chain. Sessions will focus on topicsincludingclimate action, innovation today and social sustainability.

JANUARY EPISODE: REGISTER NOW

January Episode| A 2030 Futurescape

What will 2030 look like and how do we respond as brands, manufacturers, NGOs and citizens?’

Join Lucy Shea, Group CEO, Futerra, for an exploration of the sustainability trends that are shaping the world around us and the fashion and textiles sector. In particular, we will look at how companies who embed sustainability have proven to be more resilient in 2020 and are building back better, becoming the businesses that our future needs. The next ten years will see the disruption of almost every industry, driven by our fast-changing world and the shifting desires of consumers, especially Gen Z.Learn more about Lucy Shea.

Date: Tuesday 19 January 2021
Time: 15:00-16:00 GMT

REGISTER NOW

EPISODE SPONSOR

FUTURE EPISODES

You can look forward to hearing from a selection of brilliant speakers throughout the year! Episodes and speakers will be updated and added to the BCI website inthe coming weeks and months. Keep checking back for new sessions.

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Global Cotton Sustainability Conference Moves to March 2021

 
The 2020 Global Cotton Sustainability Conferencehas been postponed until 2 – 4 March* 2021.

The decision to postpone this year’s conference was not taken lightly, butthe BCI Leadership Team agreed that postponement is the most responsible approach given the current situation regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 and its global impact on health and travel. BCI’s priority is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all BCI staff, members, partners and stakeholders.

“The spread of coronavirus will have an ongoing impact all over the world, and affect the entire BCI community, including members, staff, partners and other stakeholders. The situation now requires a significant step-up in the BCI management response. We need to face an unprecedented crisis with unprecedented solutions. It is inspiring to see how quickly, and with a deep sense of engagement, our stakeholders, partners and team members have stepped up to the plate and embraced new ways of working and living in order to continue delivering on their commitments. With this level of engagement, we feel confident about the sustainable cotton community’s ability to meet the challenges of this period of crisis and uncertainty and emerge stronger.” Alan McClay, CEO, BCI.

The conference in 2021 will deliver the same programme, designed to address sustainability issues across the entire cotton supply chain. Join us next year to hear from inspiring speakers from farm to fashion, and network with leaders and experts from across the cotton sustainability sector.

Some of the exciting conference sessions already lined up include:

Keynotes

  • The Value of Cotton in the Circular Economy
  • Money, Magic, Measurement & Sustainable Agriculture
  • Making Purpose Real

Plenary Panel Discussions

  • Experiences from the Field: Smallholder Farmers
  • Getting Aligned on Impact
  • Reaching Our 2020 Goals

Breakout sessions

  • Farm Adaptation to Climate Change
  • Can Cotton be Carbon Neutral?
  • Embedding Climate Action: Internal Engagement and Communications
  • Innovation Showcase
  • The Cotton 2025 Challenge
  • Impact for People: The Case Studies
  • Community Partnerships
  • Women in Agriculture and Beyond

The goal of the 4th Global Cotton Sustainability Conference is to bring the entire sector together in shaping a more sustainable future for cotton.

The full conference agenda, list of registered attendees and more is available now in the free conference mobile app. Find out more and download the app today.

We hope you can join us in Lisbon on 2 – 4 March 2021*.

*BCI intends to postpone the conference to 2 – 4 March 2021, with final arrangements currently under review. We are providing advance notice, so you can make arrangements for attending now. Pending venue confirmation, logistics may be subject to change.

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Highlights: 2020 Better Cotton Implementing Partner Meeting & Symposium

 
In January 2020, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) convened more than 45 of its field-level partner organisations – Implementing Partners – from 12 countries, for the fourth edition of the BCI Implementing Partner Meeting & Symposium. The annual meeting provides BCI’s Implementing Partners with an opportunity to come together to share knowledge, best practice and innovations across teams, organisation, regions and countries.

We’ve picked out some event highlights in this short video!

The three-day event focused primarily on biodiversity and the practices and innovations being implemented on the ground. BCI’s Implementing Partners had the opportunity to share their successes and challenges, while biodiversity experts took to the stage to share their insights. Guest speakers included Olivia Scholtz, High Conservation Value (HCV) Resource Network; Gwendolyn Ellen, independent consultant; Nan Zeng, The Nature Conservancy; Liron Israely, Tel-Aviv University; and Vamshi Krishna, WWF India.

Sharing practical solutions was a key element of the event and each partner organisation had the opportunity to showcase the methods and tools they are most proud of. This created a great opportunity for hands-on learning, and attendees explored a rich variety of biodiversity practices from different BCI Programme countries.

To further recognise the great work of BCI’s field-level partners, 10 Producer Unit Managers* were shortlisted and awarded for their outstanding efforts in the field. Meet the winners.

The event concluded with each attendee committing to actions to protect, enhance and restore biodiversity in 2020 based on the challenges and solutions identified and tested in the previous cotton sessions.

*Each BCI Implementing Partner supports a series ofProducer Units, which is a group of BCI Farmers (from smallholder ormedium sizedfarms) from the same community or region. Each Producer Unit is overseen by a Producer Unit Manager and has a team of Field Facilitators; who work directly with farmers to raise awareness and adoption of more sustainable practices, in line with the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria.
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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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Register Now for the 2020 Global Cotton Sustainability Conference: Early Bird Offer Expires 15 February

 
Are you planning on joining BCI and partners for the 4th annual Global Cotton Sustainability Conference? From 9–11 June 2020, representatives from the entire cotton sector and beyond will meet in Lisbon to shape a more sustainable future for cotton.

This year, the conference will dial in on three key themes – Climate Action, Innovation Now and Social Sustainability– exploring how the sector can collaborate in these areas to create and drive collective impact.

Register before 15 February 2020 to take advantage of the early bird rates.

BCI Members also receive an additional 50% discount.

REGISTER HERE

Confirmed conference speakers include Futerra, The Renewal Workshop, GOOD Agency, IDH – The Sustainable Trade Initiative, Fair Labor Association, Change Agency, Cotton Inc., JFS and KAL. Hear from Reuben Turner, Creative Partner and Founder at GOOD Agency in the first of our Meet the Speaker blogs.

We still have a number of sponsorship opportunities available, from supporting cotton farmers’ travel to the event, to sponsoring the conference dinner. Please contact Events Officer Olivia Ji for more information.

Find out more and register for the conference at globalcotton.org.

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