TEXTILE EXCHANGE ORGANIC COTTON ROUND TABLE
3rd October 2012
Textile Exchange hosted its inaugural meeting of the Organic Cotton Round Table in Hong Kong on the 3rd October 2012, the day before the Textile Exchange conference. We met to shape the future of this vital and exciting initiative.
The Round Table involved facilitated discussion, mostly led by the participants on the day. We divided the meeting into three parts: a context-setting session followed by a deep dive into the most critical issues for the sector, and finishing with an open discussion about how participants want the Round Table to operate from that point forward.
Introduction to the Key Issues
Introducing the seed issue were Dr Jane Dever and Dr Monika Mesmers.
Dr. Jane Dever
A cotton geneticist based at Texas AgriLife Research Lubbock. Jane had recently been appointed to a two-year term on the National Genetic Resources Advisory Council in the US.
Dr. Monika Mesmers
A plant breeder for organic farming at the Research Station of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) in Switzerland. Monika has a special interest in breeding for plant x microbe interaction and in participatory breeding approaches combining traditional and modern knowledge, e.g. cotton breeding in India.
OCRT 2012 partners
Organic and Fairtrade initiatives share very similar values, objectives, and principles, and many grower groups in developing countries (and brands/retailers) choose to be both organic and Fairtrade certified. Both initiatives also share some of the challenges and barriers to growth such as securing farmers have access to non-GMO seed, and finding mutually beneficial ways for producers and brands/retailers to work together – in a way that provides long-term security for farmers, and from which farming communities can flourish.
With our shared interests Textile Exchange and Fairtrade International have always sought to build stronger working relationships and agreed to co-convene the Round Table in Hong Kong.