Better Cotton in Greece (Agro-2)
Greece is the largest cotton-producing country in Europe, and a major cotton exporter.
Cotton is machine picked in Greece, and is recognised for its high-quality in terms of length, strength and micronaire (an indication of fibre fineness). There are more than 45,000 cotton farmers in the country, and cotton is currently planted on approximately 270,000 hectares – 10% of the total agricultural land.
In 2020, Greece became a recognised Better Cotton Standard Country, and 11 Agricultural Business Groups enrolled in the AGRO-2 certification, encompassing an estimated 30,000 hectares planted and 4,000 farmers. By the end of 2022, an estimated 5,000 farmers will be growing AGRO-2 licensed cotton (equivalent to Better Cotton) on 40,000 hectares, producing around 185,000 bales.
Better Cotton Partners in Greece
In October 2020, after completing a comprehensive gap analysis and benchmarking process, Better Cotton and ELGO-DOV became Strategic Partners and recognised the Greek AGRO-2 Integrated Management Standards as equivalent to the Better Cotton Standard System. Farmers enrolled and certified under the AGRO-2 standards who also elect to participate in the Better Cotton programme are eligible to sell their cotton as Better Cotton from the 2020-21 cotton season.
The AGRO-2 Integrated Management Standards were developed by the national Hellenic Agricultural Organisation, ELGO-DEMETER, a statutory body under the Ministry of Rural Development and Food. ELGO-DEMETER and the Inter- Branch Organization of Greek Cotton (DOV) (jointly ELGO-DOV) have partnered to promote and implement the AGRO-2 standards for Greek cotton production.
Greece is a Better Cotton Equivalent Standard Country
Find out what this means?
Which regions grow Better Cotton in Greece?
Thessaly, Macedonia, Thrace, and Mainland Greece are the major cotton-producing areas of Greece.
When is Better Cotton grown in Greece?
Cotton in Greece is planted from March to April and the crop life cycle is usually 170 to 210 days, depending on the variety and weather conditions. The harvest normally occurs from October to November.
Greek cotton farmers are focused on addressing two key challenges of water management and pesticide management in cotton farming. As part of the requirements of the AGRO 2 Integrated Management Standard, and in alignment with the Better Cotton Standard System, farmers are focused on continuous improvement in these areas and implementing sustainable practices to tackle these challenges.
Find out more about the outcomes farmers are experiencing by participating in the Better Cotton programme in our latest Farmer Results Report.
Get in touch
Contact our team via the contact form if you’d like to learn more, become a partner or you’re a farmer interested in farming Better Cotton.