In 2016 over 600,000 farmers* benefitted from the Better Cotton GIF due to a 43% growth in BCI Retailer and Brand Members.

The Better Cotton Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF) — a Fund set up by the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative — is well under way to meet BCI’s target to reach 5 million farmers by 2020. Next to a growing number of farmers and participating companies, in 2016 the Better Cotton GIF was also able to invest over ‚Ǩ8.9 million in more sustainable cotton farming in seven major cotton production countries: India, Pakistan, China, Mozambique, Turkey, Tajikistan and Senegal.

The Better Cotton GIF Annual Report, unveils how the Fund has contributed to these targets with stories from seven production countries, and provides insights from organisations large and small that are collaborating through the Better Cotton GIF to make cotton production more sustainable.


Alan McClay, CEO, BCI: “In 2016, we launched the Better Cotton Growth and Innovation Fund, a global project portfolio designed tobe a catalyst for transforming cotton production by achieving scale and impact. The Better Cotton GIF portfolio needs to grow rapidly over the next four years to keep BCI on track to achieve our ambitious targets, transitioning from hundreds of thousands of farmers — more than a third of the total farmers reached by BCI with its partners — to millions.And to achieve scale, we must innovate, an important facet of BCI that will become increasingly significant as we grow.’

Joost Oorthuizen, CEO, IDH: “The Better Cotton GIF provides a mechanism for retailers and brands so they can make investment decisions and have impact on scale they would never be able to reach on their own. It also enables public-private cooperation on an unprecedented scale which add to its successful implementation.’


Launched in 2016, the Better Cotton Growth and Innovation Fund is truly collaborative, governed by the BCI Council in partnership with BCI Retailer and Brand Members, Civil Society Members, and government bodies.IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, is the Fund Manager, along with being an important funder. The Better Cotton GIF identifies, supports and invests in field-level programmes and innovation while fostering adoption of the Better Cotton Standard System by governments, trade associations and other entities.

In 2016, the Better Cotton GIF directly invested €4.2 million in fieldlevel programmes and mobilised an additional €4.7 million in cofunding from partnersa total portfolio value of €8.9 million. These investments enabled over 600,000 farmers to participate in BCI programmes over the 2016/17 cotton season.

The success of the Better Cotton GIF depends on the commitment of BCI Retailer and Brand Members, who contribute through a fee based on the volume of cotton they source as Better Cotton. This fee enables brands to directly and efficiently support field-level programmes. In 2016, BCI saw its retailer and brand membership base grow by 43%, indicating strong future growth for the Better Cotton GIF.


In its first year, the Better Cotton GIF supported Better Cotton production in seven countries: India, Pakistan, China, Mozambique, Turkey, Tajikistan and Senegal. Major successes for the Better Cotton GIF in 2016 include:

  • Strengthened relationships with governments in India and Pakistan;
  • The highest-ever annual national production of Better Cotton in China; and
  • An exemplary cooperative model of delivering farmer training and capacity building in Tajikistan.

The below table shows the number of farmers reached by the Better Cotton GIF in 2016 and the amount of Better Cotton they produced.

Participating Farmers Metric Tonnes of Better Cotton Produced
India 336,000 300,000
Pakistan 128,000 316,000
Mozambique 87,000 15,500
China 57,000 463,000
Turkey 374 30,000
Tajikistan 1,000 13,000
Senegal 6,300 (Figure not yet finalised)



The launch of the Better Cotton GIF Annual Report coincides with the launch of the new Better Cotton GIF microsite

* While the Better Cotton Growth and Innovation Fund reached over 600,000 farmers, the Better Cotton Initiative reached 1.6 million farmers in 2016.


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