Better Cotton Announces Results of First Year US Pilot

BCI has completed a small scale pilot of its standard system in the USA during 2014. Twenty-two farms in four states (Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico and California) took part in the pilot project, and together produced over 11,000 metric tons (26 million lbs) of cotton lint. The farms each completed a self-assessment and hosted an on-farm visit by independent, 3rd party verifiers to confirm they meet BCI’s criteria for environmental stewardship and working conditions. All participants who completed the process are now licensed to sell Better Cotton to participating merchants.

Cheryl Luther of Black Oak Gin in northeastern Arkansas guided three farmers through the licensing process. She said ”I was skeptical at first. I’ve been a sustainability proponent for years, and I understood the brands want transparency and verification, but I thought the process and paperwork would be a burden. In the end, though, it was simple and easy to gather.” One of the three Black Oak growers, Danny Qualls of Lake City, Arkansas said,” I love growing cotton, but the market needs more innovative ideas like BCI.”

Cannon Michael, owner of Bowles Farming Company in California’s San Joaquin Valley, said, ”We take pride in the way we treat our employees, care for the environment and strive to improve. I think this opportunity to “prove up’ against independent standards and verification is good for us and our customers.” Bowles is one of six participating farms that are members of Supima, the US pima cotton marketing association. Supima president Jesse Curlee echoed Michael’s sentiments saying, ”We’re on board for very practical business reasons. British retailer Marks & Spencer is a key customer for us. They’re also a BCI member and sourcing Better Cotton is a key component of their corporate sustainability strategy.”

CEO of BCI Patrick Laine added, ”We’re delighted with the collaboration and efforts of cotton growers in the US to bring US Better Cotton to the supply chain. This responds to a request of many global brands. The first volumes of US Better Cotton to reach the market were purchased immediately – and we intend to satisfy that demand in coming years by expanding the supply of US Better Cotton.This is an extremely positive start, and we look forward to working with more USA farmers on continually improving practices that are directly relevant to their businesses.”

In West Texas, twelve members of the Hart Producers Coop Gin participated in the project. Gin Manager Todd Straley said, “We see this as a great way to stay ahead of the curve, being responsive to changing market expectations and demonstrating our growers’ commitment to sustainability and continual improvement.”

BCI has been working in other cotton growing regions of the world since 2010 to promote measurable and continuing improvements for the environment, farming communities, and their economies. Last year, spurred by strong interest from major brands and retailers using Better Cotton as a supply benchmark, we chose to expand our focus to include the US.

BCI will convene a multi-stakeholder process early in the new year to review the lessons learned during the pilot, and receive feedback from all parties engaged in this project or interested in BCI’s development.

 

Read more

Better Cotton 2013 Harvest Report now available for download in Chinese and French

We are very pleased to announce the publication of theBCI 2013 Harvest Report in Chinese and in French. In answer to feedback from our members, we are reporting on our harvest data – at global and country level – in additional languages for the very first time. These reports are a key contribution in making Better Cotton accessible to a global market. Visit our Annual Reports web page to download and share the reports.

The English language version of the 2013 Harvest Report was released in September.

Some highlights include:

» Almost 680,000 farmers met the standard to earn a licence to grow Better Cotton. That’s a 400% increase on last year thanks to great progress made on successful global partnerships.
» 905,000 metric tonnes of Better Cotton were produced, included that produced under two newly benchmarked standards: Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and the ABR standard in Brazil.
» Better Cotton was produced in 15 countries worldwide.
» Independent case studies were conducted in China and Mali, including qualitative feedback from the farmers themselves on the most significant changes they have seen since becoming part of the Better Cotton movement.

Better Cotton is sown and harvested in different annual cycles all over the world, which means we provide the results of a harvest late on in the following year when all data has been collected, checked and collated.

We’re incredibly proud of everything we achieved on entering our Expansion Phase in 2013, and as the 2014 season continues we’re making strong progress towards making Better Cotton a more sustainable mainstream commodity.

Read more

Better Cotton 2013 Harvest Report released

We are very pleased to announce the publication of the BCI 2013 Harvest Report. This report details our harvest data at global and field level, and completes the second of two reporting stages for 2013 – the first being our Annual Report.

Some highlights include:

» Almost 680,000 farmers met the standard to earn a licence to grow Better Cotton. That’s a 400% increase on last year thanks to great progress made on successful global partnerships.
» 905,000 metric tonnes of Better Cotton were produced, included that produced under two newly benchmarked standards: Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and the ABR standard in Brazil.
» Better Cotton was produced in 15 countries worldwide.
» Independent case studies were conducted in China and Mali, including qualitative feedback from the farmers themselves on the most significant changes they have seen since becoming part of the Better Cotton movement.

Better Cotton is sown and harvested in different annual cycles all over the world, which means we provide the results of a harvest late on in the following year when all data has been collected, checked and collated.

We’re incredibly proud of everything we achieved on entering our Expansion Phase in 2013, and as the 2014 season continues we’re making strong progress towards making Better Cotton a more sustainable mainstream commodity. If you wish to read more, go to our Annual Reports page by clicking here.

Read more

Better Cotton Fast Track Program Release Annual Report

”Better Cotton Fast Track Program” (BCFTP) was founded in 2009-10 by a group of leading private and public organizations, convened by IDH the Sustainable Trade Initiative. Through a demand-driven strategy based upon the financial commitment of leading retailers and brands and match-funded by a group of public funders the Program invests in farmer capacity building projects across the globe. In 2013, the Fast Track Fund supported over 30 farm level projects in six countries, reaching out over 200,000 farmers who have produced almost 750,000 metric tons of Better Cotton.

For more information on the progress of BCFTP in its 4th year, we are pleased to share the Better Cotton Fast Track Program End Year Report 2013 – “Mainstreaming the Midstream’.

Read more

Better Cotton Annual and Harvest Reports. A new process.

In September 2013 we published our very first Harvest report. We wanted to simplify how we communicate, focusing on the harvests rather than the growing seasons. As of 2014 , we will be breaking this document down further, dividing our reporting into an Annual Report for 2013 – to be published in March/April – and our Harvest Report (containing the data from the field,) – to be published in September.

We’re really proud of everything we achieved in 2012. If you wish to read more about it, you can go to our Annual Reports page by clicking here.

 

Read more

Share this page