TEXTILE EXCHANGE ORGANIC COTTON ROUND TABLE
What is the OCRT?
The Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT) is a global stakeholder platform that supports and brings together the organic cotton community to be inspired, mobilized, and equipped to act.
The OCRT hosts an in-person Global Summit as part of Textile Exchange’s annual Textile Sustainability Conference, as well as facilitating a growing number of Regional OCRTs through the year.
The latest component of the OCRT is the OCRT Hub – an online community due to launch in September 2020. Scroll down to find out more.
Watch the video above to get a feel for what the OCRT is all about, then dive deeper through our Out of the Box interviews with some of the industry’s most inspiring thinkers.
Regional OCRT 2020, Burkina Faso
Global OCRT 2019, Vancouver
Regional OCRT 2019, China
Global OCRT 2018, Milan
Regional OCRT 2018, Burkina Faso
Regional OCRT 2018, Izmir
Global OCRT 2017, Washington D.C.
Regional OCRT 2017, Izmir
Global OCRT 2016, Hamburg
Global OCRT 2015, Mumbai
Global OCRT 2014, Portland
Global OCRT 2013, Istanbul
Global OCRT 2012, Hong Kong
NEW FOR 2020! OCRT Hub
We are pleased to announce that a new online community for Textile Exchange’s OCRT will launch later this month in the Hub. Access to the OCRT Hub will be open to all those who agree to the OCRT membership requirements detailed in this sign-up form. It is not required to be a member of Textile Exchange.
An online home for the OCRT has been in the pipeline for some time but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it an even greater priority. The OCRT Hub will allow our global audience to continue engaging and driving change despite ongoing travel restrictions.
Many readers will remember the “Global Organic Cotton Community Platform” – a Community of Practice hosted by Textile Exchange and Helvetas between 2009 and 2017, with funding from ICCO and SECO. The new OCRT Hub will take a similar approach to engaging the organic cotton community through virtual dialogues, and will provide a place for us to keep the community up to date with the latest developments from our Global and Regional Organic Cotton Round Tables and Working Groups.
2020 PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Teamwork and collaboration are key in bringing initiatives like this to their full potential and we are always looking for partners for the Organic Cotton Round Table. For details of how to support the work of our Organic Cotton Round Table in 2020 and beyond, please get in touch with us at: OCRT@TextileExchange.org
HISTORY OF THE OCRT
Textile Exchange’s Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT) was established in 2012 when the organization declared a Call to Action prompted by a decline in organic cotton production in spite of growing demand. Every year since its inception, the OCRT has held a one day, in-person meeting alongside Textile Exchange’s annual Textile Sustainability Conference. The global OCRT summit has always been highly interactive and action-oriented and is typically attended by 150-200 individuals including farmer representatives, manufacturers, brands, retailers, traders, NGOs, and trade associations. The OCRT quickly became the primary place and space for stakeholders to get together to hear more about issues facing the organic cotton sector, to diagnose these issues and, most importantly, find ways to take action.
The OCRT initially focused on addressing key challenges in the stability and sustainability of the organic cotton sector at a global level through the lens of three workstreams: Business Models, Seed and Soils, and Consumer Engagement. Under these workstreams, the OCRT 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 Coalition, aboutorganiccotton.org (a microsite dedicated to organic cotton), an inventory of non-GMO seed availability, and the OCRT Innovation Award.
After a number of years of approaching barriers to growth in organic cotton at the global level, the need to customize strategies at the regional level 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. As a result, the Regional OCRT model was born in 2017. So far, Regional OCRTs have been held in Turkey (2017, 2018), Burkina Faso (2018 and 2020), and China (2019). Planning is also in the works for a Regional OCRT for Latin America & the Caribbean.
The latest component of the OCRT is the launch of an online community -the OCRT Hub – in September 2020, which will enable dialogues to continue throughout the year and reach a wider audience. As for the other Round Tables of Textile Exchange, the OCRT’s virtual home is hosted on Textile Exchange’s online membership portal, the Hub.
OCRT TASK FORCES
The OCRT has three Task Forces that focus on the key challenges to sector stability and sustainable growth. Under these Task Forces, the OCRT has already identified needs for a number of initiatives and has either catalysed, or been an incubator for, their development. Such initiatives include the Organic Cotton Accelerator, Chetna Coalition, a dedicated microsite for organic cotton and an inventory of non-GMO seed availability.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Talk to us
Tell us what you think and share your ideas! OCRT@TextileExchange.org