This year, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) turns 10 years old.
In this short amount of time, BCI has experienced exceptional growth. Today, the Initiative has more than 1,400 members and works with 60 field-level partners, to reach and train 1.6 million cotton farmers in 23 countries (2016-17 season figures). With our partners, members and stakeholders we have achieved a lot in the past 10 years, but there is a long way to go to ensure global cotton production is better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future.
As BCI heads towards its second decade, the organisation’s focus is firmly fixed on the future and building a strategy to 2030. We are truly a collaborative effort and we continue to work with all of our stakeholders to ensure BCI and the Better Cotton Standard System effectively address cotton production challenges, while meeting the sourcing needs of our members.
Throughout the year we will be publishing a series of articles, with input from key stakeholders who have been influential throughout BCI’s first decade – from partners, to civil society organisations, to retailers and brands. The first article in the series will be published in early March.
We are also turning our attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and how BCI and its members can continue to be catalysts for change as part of the global momentum harnessed by the SDGs. Over the last year, we conducted a mapping exercise whereby we compared BCI’s organisational objectives to the 17 Goals and related targets to determine where BCI is driving them in a tangible way. We identified 10 SDGs where BCI is making robust contributions – you can find out more in our new SDG hub.
Additionally, we recognise that the need for BCI Members to communicate about sustainability is growing and evolving, and the Better Cotton Claims Framework must evolve in parallel with these growing market and consumer expectations. At the beginning of the year we launched a review of the framework. Following a period of consultation, the Better Cotton Claims Framework V2.0 will be released in the spring. We are also continuing to refine the monitoring and evaluation of our field-level work in order to facilitate credible communications about the outcomes and impacts of members’ investments in more sustainable cotton production.
We would like to say thank you to all of our members, partners and stakeholders for your continued support, and we look forward to working together as BCI moves into the next chapter.