When: 28 September 2018
Where: Salon International du Coton et du Textile
Koudougou, Burkina Faso
Registration: Opening Soon!


Textile Exchange is delighted to invite you to join us in Izmir this May for the 2nd Regional Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT), hosted in collaboration with İZFAŞ at the 9th EKOLOJİ Trade Show.

When? 10-11th May 2018 (excursion and networking dinner on the 10th, and Regional OCRT event on the 11th)
Where? Fuarizmir, İzmir – Turkey’s newest and biggest fair complex


Global OCRT 2017, Washington D.C.

Textile Exchange is delighted to be collaborating with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) on a series of organic cotton focused activities in West Africa. These include a Market Opportunity Scoping Project (MOSP), a documentary-style video showcasing the region’s organic cotton sector, and the launch of a new Regional Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT).

The Regional OCRT will take place on 28th September 2018 in Koudougou, 100 km from Ouagadougou, during the Salon International du Coton et du Textile (SICOT). SICOT aims to expose and promote Burkina cotton as an industry for capital investment into cotton processing. It will be an opportunity to increase international trade by creating linkages between cotton companies, the National Cotton Producers Union of Burkina (UNPCB), and buyers from all over the world.

The Regional OCRT will put the spotlight on opportunities for organic cotton in the region, as well as on finding solutions to the region’s main barriers to growth. The results of the MOSP, which will identify these barriers and opportunities, will provide the basis for the day’s discussions.

The Sourcing-Coalition for Organic and Fairtrade Cotton from West Africa will also be hosting a workshop prior to SICOT. See “Preliminary Agenda” tab for an overview of the week’s activities, plus the preliminary Regional OCRT agenda.


Week Overview
Wed 26th Sept: Sourcing-Coalition Workshop (1pm – 6.30pm, followed by drinks reception)
Thu 27th Sept: SICOT
Fri 28th Sept: Regional OCRT | Gala Diner
Sat 29th Sept: Field trip (more information coming soon)
Regional OCRT Preliminary Agenda

Key Insights from the Market Opportunity Scoping Project (MOSP)

  • Simon Cooper, Partner, Change Agency
  • Plus a short video of MOSP conversation highlights

Panel Discussion – Connecting African Organic

  • Q&A with key stakeholder group (TBC) including a producer, trader, manufacturer, international brand, Government Minister, and funder/ investor.

Welcome and Introductory Comments

  • Liesl Truscott, European & Materials Strategy Director, Textile Exchange
  • Silvere Tovignan, Regional Ambassador, Textile Exchange
  • CRS

Open Forum

Themes to be based on MOSP findings. Example topics include:

  • Business models
  • Marketing
  • Value addition
  • Women empowerment and leadership
  • Youth and employment

Next Steps

  • Building out the strategy together, meeting in 2019
Travel Information

Koudougou is 1hr 30 from Ouagadougou, at the heart of the country’s cotton production.

  • By Plane: Ouagadougou has an International Airport with shuttle buses to Koudougou on reservation.
  • By Car: Exit Ouagadougou, on the RN1, towards Bobo Dioulasso.

Note: A package will be available that includes the program, meals, 4 nights 4* hotel accommodation, the field-trip, and airport transportation. More details on this to follow.

As part of the collaboration with CRS, Textile Exchange is working with Change Agency to conduct a Market Opportunity Scoping Project (MOSP) for Burkina Faso.

The findings of the MOSP will frame the discussions at the Regional OCRT in Koudougou, and will generate a number of initiatives and work-streams to take forward. The Research & Discussion Report resulting from the MOSP will be made publicly available. It will include detailed findings of the research and identify the common emerging themes.

To get a feel for what to expect, read the MOSP Research and Discussion Paper produced in 2017 for Turkey, Egypt, Central Asia and the wider European region.

Faso. The MOSP involves a series of interviews with companies and organizations representing each section of the region’s value network to explore the market opportunities and identify blockages or mis-perceptions that need to be dealt with.

Regional OCRT Izmir 2017


Textile Exchange’s Global Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT) has evolved to become THE shared space for the organic cotton community to get together and learn more about issues facing the organic cotton sector, to diagnose these issues and, most importantly, find ways to take action. Since its inception, the OCRT has focused on addressing key challenges in the stability and sustainable growth of the organic cotton sector through three Task Forces: Business Models, Seed and Soils, and Consumer Engagement.

Under these Task Forces, the OCRT has identified a number of initiatives and has either catalyzed, or been an incubator for, their development. Such initiatives include the Organic Cotton Accelerator, the Chetna Coalitionaboutorganiccotton.org (a microsite dedicated to organic cotton), an inventory of non-GMO seed availability, and the OCRT Innovation Award.

Learn more about the OCRT

After six years of approaching barriers to growth in organic cotton at the global level through the Global OCRT, the benefits of regionalizing strategies for organic cotton has become increasingly apparent. Ultimately, the same issues and opportunities exist for all, but each region is at a different stage of development and therefore requires a different strategy, alongside designated resources and networks of supporters.

Textile Exchange has found that bringing people together at the regional level from all parts of the supply network is a powerful way to catalyze action by bringing specific regional opportunities into focus, strengthening existing efforts and initiatives, and shaping customized approaches.

Textile Exchange first introduced the concept of the Regional OCRT in Izmir in 2017, exploring opportunities for organic cotton in Turkey, Egypt and Central Asia, returning again in May 2018. The success in Izmir led to Textile Exchange’s collaboration with the Catholic Relief Services and the development of this new Regional OCRT in Burkina Faso. We are in an exciting position now where we can learn from our collective experience in other regions, tap into what works, and fast-track innovation and action!

Learn more about the Izmir Regional OCRT


In 2015-16, Burkina Faso was the biggest organic cotton producer of West Africa

The country produced 469 MT of organic cotton in 2015-16, on 4,928 ha certified land managed by 8,382 farmers. Check out Textile Exchange’s 2017 Organic Cotton Market Report for more details.

Cotton is an important part of Burkina Faso’s economy and the main cash crop for farmers.

Cotton is the second biggest export product after gold. The predominant form of agriculture in Burkina Faso is family farming. Farmers rely on rainfall to produce staple grains, cash crops, and livestock. Read more here.

Cotton is certified at national level under UNPCB. The organic and Fairtrade cotton program was started by HELVETAS Swiss intercooperation, and has had a strong impact on smallholder farmers, particularly women.

The first organic cotton gin in West Africa is currently in development.

The gin, located in Koudougou, is a collaboration between the USDA-funded RECOLTE project, CRS, UNPCB, and SOFITEX. It is hoped to be up and running by early 2019. Read more here.

The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are part of an inter-governmental agreement of the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly. The Global Goals provide a framework to be implemented by “all countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership” around a set of 17 specific, aspirational goals that address the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

Learn more about Textile Exchange’s work on the SDGs, and about how organic cotton can help achieve the SDGs.

2018 High Level Political Forum

The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is the main UN platform on sustainable development and has a central role in the follow-up and review of the SDGs at the global level.

The meeting of the HLPF in 2018 will be held in New York in July, and the theme will be “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”. The goals to be reviewed include 6, 7, 11, 12, 15 and 17.

Textile Exchange is partnering TMG Think Tank for Sustainability on a special side event focusing on Landscape Restoration for Food Security and Climate Adaptation, with examples from Africa. Outcomes will be shared through the Burkina Faso Regional OCRT.

Side Event Details


CRS: The Power Behind Your Purchase

hessnatur: Organic Cotton in Burkina Faso

A Taster of the OCRT: Hamburg 2016

UNPCB’s Organic and Fairtrade Cotton Program


Registration for the 2018 Regional OCRT Burkina Faso will be opening soon. In the meantime, contact us on OCRT@TextileExchange.org if you would like to be involved in the Regional OCRT or MOSP, or would like to stay updated on their developments.


  • Jana Busch
    Materials Program Assistant, Textile Exchange
  • Simon Cooper
    CSR Consultancy Ltd | Partner, Change Agency
  • Alice Dos Santos
    Materials Platform Assistant, Textile Exchange, Switzerland
  • Lisa Emberson
    Materials Platform Coordinator
  • Boubacar Kamissokho
    Chief of Party, RECOLTE Project Burkina Faso
  • Silvère Tovignan
    Ambassador Africa
  • Liesl Truscott
    European & Materials Strategy Director
  • Caitlin Welte
    Marketing Technical Advisor for Cotton Value Chain, Catholic Relief Services

For more information, or to register your interest and receive updates about this event, don’t hesitate to contact the team at: OCRT@textileexchage.org