Textile News

Transitional Cotton

Objective

Transitioning production to organic certification usually takes place over a 36-month (three year) period, unless using virgin land. It is an ongoing cycle of shifting conventional farming practices to an organic management system until the land qualifies to be certified organic under national or international organic standards.

Overview

The demand for, and the benefits of, organic agriculture are clear. Evidence of the role organic agriculture plays, with its regenerative properties, means that supporting organic production by incorporating organic fiber into textile programs, are more important than ever. As the threat of climate change continues to intensify, the need for companies to use fiber grown with organic practices that fix carbon in the soil will only increase. A recent study, which looked at farming systems and pasture trials, claimed farmers could capture up to 100 percent of current annual global carbon emissions through organic farming using regenerative organic practices. One of the biggest opportunities for increasing supply of organic lies in “transitional” cotton programs that support farmers through the years of conversion to organic certification. Building impactful business models – that share risk and reward – right from the start is critical to success. Transitioning production to organic certification usually takes place over a 36-month (three year) period, unless using virgin land. It is an ongoing cycle of shifting conventional farming practices to an organic management system until the land qualifies to be certified organic under national or international organic standards. During those three years, certification bodies (CBs) conduct annual audits as per international organic farming standards. If the farm is in compliance, a “Scope or Farm Certificate” (SC) is issued for year 2 and year 3 on transitional crops. The year 1 cycle does not have a Scope Certificate, but CBs must still develop an audit report. During the third year of production, all pertinent crop production is considered transitional (in-conversion) output. Some standards (e.g. the Australian organic farm standard) have a provision to convert year 3 crops to organic based on performance of farmer/farmers group. In such cases, only year 1 and year 2 crops are considered transitional. Note: organic farm standards are developed nationally and requirements for transitional/in conversion may differ from one country to another.

Manufacturing Process

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Manufacturing Location

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Fiber Production 2016/17 (MT)

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

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Market Share of Total Cotton Grown (2016/17)

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Projected growth in production

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Yield (see accompanying “TE Position” notes)

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Rainfed/ Irrigated

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Water Management

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Soil Fertility

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Biodiversity

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GMOs Permitted?

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Use of Hazardous Pesticides

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Use of Synthetic Fertilizer

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LCA available?

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

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Primary Energy Demand MJ /1000 kg fiber *

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

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

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Social considerations / regulations

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Verification / Certification (farm level)

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Chain of Custody (supply chain)

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Product marketing/labeling

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Consumer recognition

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Livelihoods

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Product marketing/labeling

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Quality perception/ implications

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