Better Cotton Initiative

Increased investment in global efforts to foster sustainable cotton production


Press release of 09.01.2017 |

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) have agreed to increase their cooperation to foster sustainable cotton production. To that end, the BMZ is providing two million euros in support of BCI's Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF). The purpose of the GIF is to reach out to five million mainly small-scale cotton producers in Asia and Africa, thus bringing the share of BCI-licenced sustainable cotton in global production to 30 per cent by 2020.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller said, "Making globalisation socially and environmentally fair – that is our common goal, both in our Textiles Partnership and in the Better Cotton Initiative. BCI is a leader in the effort to achieve better environmental and social standards in cotton production. Together with the private sector, civil society and producer country governments, we are defining standards."

The GIF consists of a global project portfolio. It is managed jointly by corporations (including H&M, IKEA and C&A), civil society partners and government institutions such as the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), which is supported by the Dutch government. Worldwide, more than 100 million family farms are engaged in cotton production. 99 per cent of all cotton farmers live in developing countries. They produce three quarters of all cotton worldwide, under what are often inadequate social and environmental conditions.

BCI is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to make global cotton production more sustainable by licencing cotton farmers who use sustainable farming methods. BCI is also working to increase the share of cotton from sustainable production. The BCI standard is one of the reference standards used by the Textiles Partnership that was initiated by the BMZ.

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