Textile News

Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)

Objective

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.

Overview

BCI works with cotton farmers all around the world, providing training and capacity building on more sustainable agricultural practices. Producers must meet the core requirements of the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria in order to become licensed to grow and sell their cotton as Better Cotton.

Manufacturing Process

N/A

Manufacturing Location

N/A

Fiber Production 2016/17 (MT)

1,754,000 mt BCI | 1,508,000 mt BCI Equivalent

Growth in production (2015/16 - 2016/17)

35% BCI | 25% BCI Equivalent

Market Share of Total Cotton Grown (2016/17)

8% BCI | 7% BCI Equivalent

Projected growth in production

Target to account for 30% total cotton by 2020

Yield (see accompanying “TE Position” notes)

BCI collects yield data at country-level. In the vast majority of cases, implementation of the Better Cotton Standard System leads to higher yields, but the measures of improvement vary. For example, in the 2016-17 season, BCI Farmers in China had 14% higher yields and BCI Farmers in India had 8% higher yields than Comparison Farmers in the same geographic areas.(4)

Rainfed/ Irrigated

Combination

Water Management

Water Stewardship is one of the seven Better Cotton Principles and Criteria. Management practices address water resources identification and mapping, soil moisture management, efficient irrigation practices, water quality, and participation in collective action to promote the sustainable use of water.

Soil Fertility

Soil Health is one the seven Better Cotton Principles and Criteria. Management practices address soil analysis and type identification, enhancement of soil structure and fertility, and nutrient cycling improvement.

Biodiversity

Biodiversity and Land Use is one of the seven Better Cotton Principles and Criteria. Management practices address identifying and mapping biodiversity resources, identifying and restoring degraded areas, enhancing populations of beneficial insects, ensuring crop rotation and protecting riparian areas.

GMOs Permitted?

Yes. BCI is ‘technology neutral’ with respect to GM cotton, and will neither encourage farmers to grow it, nor seek to restrict their access to it.

Use of Hazardous Pesticides

Pesticides listed in Annex A and B of the Stockholm convention, Annexes of the Montreal Protocol, and Annex III of the Rotterdam convention are forbidden. Producers must phase-out active ingredients that are known or presumed to be highly or extremely hazardous, carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive toxicants.

Use of Synthetic Fertilizer

The use of fertilizers (organic and inorganic) is addressed in the Soil Health and Water Stewardship Principles and Criteria. Producers should develop a better understanding of, and have better control of, fertilizer use.

LCA available?

Not applicable. BCI understands the sector’s expectations for measurable indicators of improvement and impact, and is currently developing reliable indicators that offer value to members while ensuring the credibility and feasibility of the Better Cotton Standard System.

Water Consumption (m3/ 1000kg fiber*) or best practices used to conserve water

No LCA data.

Primary Energy Demand MJ /1000 kg fiber *

No LCA data

Global Warming (kg of CO2-eq/ 1000kg fiber*)

No LCA data

Eutrophication (kg of phosphate-eq/ 1000 kg fiber *)

Biodiversity and Land Use is one of the seven Better Cotton Principles and Criteria. Management practices address identifying and mapping biodiversity resources, identifying and restoring degraded areas, enhancing populations of beneficial insects, ensuring crop rotation and protecting riparian areas.

Social considerations / regulations

Yes. BCI is ‘technology neutral’ with respect to GM cotton, and will neither encourage farmers to grow it, nor seek to restrict their access to it.

Verification / Certification (farm level)

Pesticides listed in Annex A and B of the Stockholm convention, Annexes of the Montreal Protocol, and Annex III of the Rotterdam convention are forbidden. Producers must phase-out active ingredients that are known or presumed to be highly or extremely hazardous, carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive toxicants.

Chain of Custody (supply chain)

The use of fertilizers (organic and inorganic) is addressed in the Soil Health and Water Stewardship Principles and Criteria. Producers should develop a better understanding of, and have better control of, fertilizer use.

Product marketing/labeling

On-product and off-product communications. The BCI On-Product Mark can be used by BCI’s Retailer and Brand Members. Strict criteria for use are set out in the Better Cotton Claims Framework

Consumer recognition

The introduction of the Better Cotton Claims Framework enabled BCI’s Members to communicate their commitment to BCI and Better Cotton to their consumers.

Livelihoods

No price differentials for farmers but yields and income expected to improve. The volume-based fee paid by BCI’s Retailer and Brand Members is invested into farmer training and capacity building programs.

Product marketing/labeling

No price differential at point of sourcing but membership and volume-based fees apply.

Quality perception/ implications

No known quality implications.
Change Language »