TEXTILE EXCHANGE
REGIONAL OCRT – TURKEY, EGYPT & CENTRAL ASIA

10-11th MAY 2018  |  IZMIR, TURKEY

Textile Exchange’s Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT) has evolved to become THE shared space for the organic cotton community to gather and collaborate. In 2017, the concept of the Regional OCRT was born, with the inaugural event held in Izmir in April 2017. The day brought together more than 100 experts from across the whole organic cotton value chain (access the Highlights Report and video here). We are pleased to announce that the next Regional OCRT Izmir will be held on 10th & 11th May 2018 during the 9th EKOLOJİ Trade Show, hosted and sponsored by our collaboration partner, İZFAŞ. The aim of the event is to strengthen and grow the organic cotton sector in Turkey, Egypt and Central Asia.

DID YOU KNOW?


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This region produces more than 20% of organic cotton globally.







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Check out Textile Exchange’s 2017 Organic Cotton Market Report here. At the Regional OCRT, we will look at supply trends and regional business models that create value for all involved.

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This region not only has a cotton cultivation history of several thousand years, but was also one of the pioneers of organic cotton.





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Turkey has been producing cotton organically for over 35 years, aided by its GMO-free status. At the Regional OCRT, we will discuss integrity, transparency, and what is needed to support value networks within the region.

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This region produces both long and extra-long staple organic cotton, which feeds into local and vertical production.






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Check out the new Organic Cotton Fiber Classification Guide published by Textile Exchange and Kering. At the Regional OCRT, we will host a session about luxury, high quality organic cotton that promises truly sustainable, premium products.

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This region is experiencing growing momentum in organic agriculture, with strong support from NGOs and Governments, underpinning the geographical and economic advantages.




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Check out the new Best Practices Guide For Organic Cotton Trade Models published by Textile Exchange and Kering. At the Regional OCRT, we will dedicate one breakout to our call-to-action for a regional cluster that builds on this momentum, as well as on the results of our 2017 Market Opportunity Scoping Project (MOSP).

SPEAKERS & FACILITATORS


We are honoured to have Helmy Abouleish, CEO of the SEKEM Initiative (see bio below), join us as keynote speaker, alongside experts and representatives from Hugo Boss, H&M, Egedeniz and many others that will be announced soon.

KEYNOTE: HELMY ABOULEISH, CEO OF THE SEKEM INITIATIVE, EGYPT

Helmy Abouleish, born 1961 in Graz, Austria, is CEO of the SEKEM Initiative in Egypt, founded by his father Ibrahim Abouleish in 1977. SEKEM promotes sustainable development in ecology, economy, societal and cultural life. The SEKEM Holding produces, processes and markets organic and biodynamic foodstuff, textiles and herbal medicine in Egypt, Arabia and internationally. They also operate educational facilities. SEKEM is regarded as the Egyptian pioneer in organic farming, and was awarded the Right Livelihood Award (‘Alternative Nobel Prize’) in 2003.

Helmy Abouleish has been deeply involved in SEKEM since it was founded. He studied economics and marketing in Cairo and was for a long time campaigning in national and international politics to promote responsible competitiveness, social entrepreneurship and tackling the greatest challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change and food security. He is also member of a number of international organizations and councils, such as Fair Trade USA and Demeter International. Helmy Abouleish became a member of the World Future Council in September 2017.

GET INVOLVED!

Contact Materials@TextileExchange.org to provide feedback or input on the agenda, or if you would like to put yourself forward as a speaker or thought starter.

We are currently looking for sponsors of the Regional OCRT to support the event and/or the development of a regional strategy for organic cotton. Click below to see current collaboration opportunities or contact us for more details.

2018 Collaboration Opportunities

GET INVOLVED!

Contact Materials@TextileExchange.org to provide feedback or input on the agenda, or if you would like to put yourself forward as a speaker or thought starter.

We are currently looking for sponsors of the Regional OCRT to support the event and/or the development of a regional strategy for organic cotton. Click below to see current collaboration opportunities or contact us for more details.

2018 Collaboration Opportunities

MARKET OPPORTUNITY SCOPING PROJECT


As part of the collaboration with IZFAS, TE is worked with Change Agency to conduct a Market Opportunity Scoping Project (MOSP) in Turkey, Egypt, Central Asia and the wider European region. The MOSP involved 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.

The findings of the MOSP framed the discussions at the R-OCRT in Izmir, which generated a number of initiatives and work-streams to take forward. The Research & Discussion Report resulting from the MOSP is available to download below. It includes detailed findings of the research and identifies the common emerging themes.

MOSP Research & Discussion Paper

REGIONAL OCRT HISTORY


One of the actions resulting from TE’s 2016 Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT) meeting in Hamburg was to create a regional strategy for Turkey and the surrounding region, and there was keen interest to build on the success of the workshop TE hosted during the EKOLOJİ IZMIR Organic Products Fair in 2016. With the OCRT having evolved to become THE shared space for the organic cotton community to gather and collaborate, and with EKOLOJİ IZMIR wanting to strengthen its focus on organic cotton, it seemed only logical to apply the framework of the OCRT – and so, in collaboration with İZFAŞ and EKOLOJİ IZMIR, the Regional-OCRT Izmir was born!

The inaugural R-OCRT was held in Izmir, Turkey, on April 28th 2017. Thank you to all of the participants, speakers, sponsors and partners of this event for your support and valuable contributions on the day. Re-cap on the day’s agenda and speakers in the program here, or download the Highlights Of The Day Report here for an overview of the key themes, outcomes and next steps.

Highlights Of The Day 2017

Regional OCRT on the TV!
We were honoured to be joined on the day of the Regional OCRT by Istanbul-based news channel TRT World, who featured the event in their recent documentary “Made in Turkey”. We greatly encourage you to watch the full documentary, but you can jump to the R-OCRT section by clicking the “play” button below (it starts at 6:15). For the full documentary, click here to view Part 1 and here to view Part 2.

In 2016, Textile Exchange was invited İZFAŞ and EKOLOJİ IZMIR to host a workshop during the 7th EKOLOJİ IZMIR Organic Products Fair, and this is what kicked off the ongoing collaboration between these organizations. You can download the highlights from that workshop below.

Highlights Of The Day 2016

The EKOLOJİ IZMIR Organic Products Fair, hosted by IZFAS, is the leading trade fair for the organic sector in Turkey. The fair takes place annually at Fuarizmir, Turkey’s largest fair center, and is growing each year. Seeing the growth of interest in organic textiles,EKOLOJİ IZMIR is strengthening its focus in this area and, in April 2016, invited TE to deliver a workshop. The workshop was highly successful and attracted key players and leading experts from across the industry, as well as over 70 representatives from both Turkish and international textile companies. Following strong signals during the 2016 OCRT in Hamburg that there was sufficient demand for the continuation of such workshops,EKOLOJİ IZMIR and TE formed a collaboration to develop this into an annual event, applying the framework of the well-established Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT). The inaugural R-OCRT was held in Izmir in April 2017.

Through bringing together the strengths and capabilities of EKOLOJİ IZMIR and TE, the aim is to support the development of the organic textiles sector in Turkey and surrounding regions and to maximize the reach and impact of these efforts. The Regional-OCRT will offer an international audience the chance to learn more about the unique benefits of sourcing from this region, with its strong history in organic agriculture and high quality, vertically integrated production.

CONTACT US
Liesl Truscott, European & Materials Strategy Director Liesl@TextileExchange.org  Lisa Emberson, Materials Platform Coordinator Lisa@TextileExchange.org

 Jana Busch, Materials Platform Assistant Jana@TextileExchange.org