• Connector.


    28th September 2018

  • Connector.


    SICOT, Koudougou, Burkina Faso

  • Connector.


    See “Preliminary Agenda” tab below


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



A special travel and accommodation package is being arranged by ecos and SICOT that covers the full four days of events. The package cost is €500, which covers registration for the full 4 days of events listed to the right, plus all transfers in Burkina Faso and 4 nights accommodation in 4* hotels.


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), which will take place during on 28th September 2018 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.

Another prominent event taking place during SICOT is the launch of the Organic and Fairtrade Cotton Coalition West Africa, which will be hosting a workshop on 26th September.


Week Overview
Thu 27th Sept: SICOT
Fri 28th Sept: SICOT Panel Discussion | Regional OCRT | Gala Dinner
Sat 29th Sept: Organic Cotton Field Trip: Visit the construction of the first organic cotton gin in West Africa, and meet some of Burkina Faso’s pioneer organic cotton farmers.
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
  • Boubacar Kamissokho, Chief of Party, RECOLTE Project

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.

The Agenda for the Regional OCRT in Burkina Faso will be framed around research interviews for the Market Opportunity Scoping Project (MOSP) carried out by Change Agency for Textile Exchange, in collaboration with CRS.

The MOSP is based on Appreciative Inquiry: asking questions of a range of stakeholders involved in cotton in Africa to unearth the positives in the situation and identify any blockages to progress. Appreciative Inquiry works on the assumption that whatever you want more of already exists in the situation you are looking at. While traditional problem-solving dissects a system looking for problems, Appreciative Inquiry works to uncover the forces that give life and energy to a system. Traditional inquiry asks “what problems are you having?”; Appreciative Inquiry looks at “what is working well in this situation, and how can we have more of that?”

The results of the interviews will be presented for the first time at the Regional OCRT. From the many comments and suggestions made by interviewees, the discussion will be grouped into three broad stakeholder categories looking at:

  • What can Governments and NGOs do?
  • What can the Value Chain do?
  • What can the Market do?

The key conclusion to come out of the interviews is that more collaboration is needed – along the value chain, between governments, and between Africa and the rest of the world. In each focus area above, specific ideas will be discussed which will contribute to the collaborative approach. R-OCRT delegates will be able to share the way forward and make an important contribution to the sector’s future success.

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.

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

Did You Know?

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.

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 partnered with TMG Think Tank for Sustainability on a special side event focusing on Landscape Restoration for Food Security and Climate Adaptation, with examples from Africa. You can read a summary of the event here. Outcomes will also be shared through the Burkina Faso Regional OCRT.

Meeting Summary


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

Meet the Regional OCRT Organizers

  • Jana Busch
    Materials Program Assistant, Textile Exchange
  • Simon Cooper
    MOSP 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
  • Sabali Meschi
    MOSP Partner | Change Agency
  • Silvère Tovignan
    Ambassador Africa
  • Liesl Truscott
    European & Materials Strategy Director
  • Caitlin Welte
    Marketing Technical Advisor for Cotton Value Chain, Catholic Relief Services

Quick Links

About organic cotton

Organic cotton is cotton that is produced and certified to organic agricultural standards.

Learn more


Preferred Fiber & Material Round Tables


2017 Market reports

The 2017 Preferred Fiber & Materials Report and the Organic Cotton Market Report are joined by the "Insider" Series.

Read more

PFM Benchmark

The Preferred Fiber & Materials (PFM) Benchmark helps companies measure, manage and integrate a PFM strategy.

Read more


A framework for assessing the environmental, social & economic impacts of organic cotton agriculture.

Learn more


A selection of some of the key terms and abbreviations used in the industry.


contact us

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