IndiaCSR News Network
INDORE: Over 170 industry leaders from the Indian organic cotton sector met for an inaugural Organic Cotton Round table in Indore last week to agree an action plan to address the fact that the organic cotton sector faces a global shortfall of up to 50% by 2015 .
The participants of the Round table agreed to set up an Organic & Fair Cotton Secretariat which will build an enabling environment for developing responsible organic cotton supply chains; create a credible Indian organic brand; and enhance livelihoods for smallholder organic cotton farmers.
India is the leading producer of organic cotton accounting for 74% of the world’s organic cotton supply. Many factors – from seed to market access – make it difficult for India’s smallholder farmers to increase their organic cotton production.
The Organic & Fair Cotton Secretariatwill focus on three areas:
1) Policy and advocacy
2) Identifying and leveraging resources
3) Providing support services – covering social, technical, legal, research and impact aspects of cotton production – to accelerate the growth of the organic cotton sector
The Organic Cotton Round table was organised by Cotton Connect and curated / funded by C&A Foundation.
Commenting on the Round table, Alison Ward, CEO of Cotton Connect said: “Organic cotton in India is at a critical tipping point, and it was clear from our conversations that the sector has recognised the need to work together on joint action plans. We hope this is the start of a new era for organic cotton farming, one which is sustainable and thriving from farm to store.”
In addition to establishing the Organic & Fair Cotton Secretariat, other key actions identified included: improving supply chain efficiency and trace ability; the development and communication of good agricultural practice; strengthening integrity and certification; seed research and development and seed supply; understanding farmer incentives; marketing and communication; and developing better industry and government interaction.
Leslie Johnston, Executive Director, C&A Foundation said, “We want to be a catalyst for change and are keen to support scalable solutions to the challenges that the sustainable cotton sector faces. Seeing all the contributors to the sector come together at this Roundtable for the first time makes us proud and hopeful. We look forward to other foundations and retailers joining this platform.”The event was attended by cotton farmers, farm groups, ginners, spinners, brands, certification bodies, NGOs, government officials and key cotton buyers from all over India.
CottonConnect is a pioneering company with a social purpose, delivering business benefits to retailers and brands to make their supply chains more sustainable, efficient and traceable. Having the capacity within one organisation to both create and implement cotton sustainability programmes on the ground makes us a ‘one-stop-shop’ for brands to deliver their sustainability objectives.
C&A Foundation is a charitable foundation based in Switzerland that aims to improve social, economic and ecological conditions along the cotton and apparel value chain. Committed to the communities in which C&A operates, the foundation also promotes local charitable initiatives, ultimately touching the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.