Do you know the Better Cotton Initiative?
Also known as BCI, it “exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future.
“BCI works with a diverse range of stakeholders to promote measurable and continuing improvements for the environment, farming communities and the economies of cotton-producing areas.
“BCI aims to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity.”
Those responsible for the initiative say best why “better” cotton is needed: “While many farmers are already producing cotton in responsible ways, soil erosion, water depletion, oppressive or unsafe working conditions, and decreasing biodiversity continue to be challenges in many cotton growing regions of the world. These pose serious threats to the sustainability of the industry as a whole. The longer we wait, the greater the damage. So we’re starting where we can: with responsible, ambitious – but still reaslistic – production criteria, and a dedication to improving from there. “Better” means a process, an on-going commitment to continuous improvement.”
Why is the BCI good news for our planet? Because:
“the successful mass-market adoption of Better Cotton would mean:
- Inherent benefits for growers of Better Cotton, particularly financial profitability
- Reducing the negative impacts of water and pesticide use on human and environmental health
- A clear improvement in soil health and biodiversity
- Farming communities and cotton farm workers would have Decent Work conditions
- On-going global knowledge exchange on more sustainable cotton production
- An increase in the understanding and traceability along the cotton supply chain”