TEXTILE EXCHANGE ORGANIC COTTON ROUND TABLE
9th November 2013
Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront, Portland, Oregon, USA
The Organic Cotton Round Table is now a fully established breeding ground for initiating solutions to the sector’s biggest challenges and igniting innovation within the organic cotton community – paving the way to scaling up production of organic cotton.
The inaugural meeting of the Organic Cotton Round Table (Hong Kong 2012) brought together over one hundred like-minded people eager to help us establish a “Round Table” to advance a common interest in organic cotton. We agreed upon three key areas of focus and established Task Forces for Seed, Business Models and Consumer Engagement.
In 2013 in istanbul, the Round Table evolved from a think tank to a think-and-DO tank – proving the power of collaboration. The groundwork that had been laid during the year underpinned the huge amount of energy on the day, and concrete steps were taken forward, including two new collective impact initiatives and the first stages of a Seed “Master Plan”. In Istanbul we also filmed interviews with leaders of five seed projects that aim to improve availability of organic and non-GM cottonseed, and these interviews can now be viewed in Seed Diagloues.
In Portland, we had a packed agenda, announcing the results of the inaugral Global Organic Cotton Life Cycle Assessment, the lay-of-the-land for non-GMO seed work, and the progress of three new start-up initiatives. We tackled supply chain management and transparency issues through the 2014 “Master Class”.
At the Table we heard from the people leading the Organic Cotton Accelerator, Chetna Coalition, and the India Organic & Fair Cotton Secretariat.
Participants also witnessed the release of the worlds first ever Global Organic Cotton Life Cycle Assessment.
Throughout the day, we delved into organic cottonseed issues, opportunities and solutions BUT we strove to do so in a language we can all understand and with the people right there on the job.
Participants were invited to take part in our Marketplace Masterclass and gain new perspectives and depths to the opportunities ahead.
Our aim was also to begin preparing to build THE most useful microsite on organic cotton – one that meets all your marketing and communication needs.
At last but not least, we were all invited to be inspired by a man who has a vision for success and building a “business unusual.”
OCRT 2014 partners
OCRT 2014 Key Partners
We were delighted to announce PE International as partners of the 2014 Round Table. PE International, now Thinkstep, is one of the world’s most experienced sustainability software, content and strategic consulting firms with over 20 years of experience. As well as partnering the 2014 Round Table, PE International had also been collaborating with Textile Exchange on the production of the world’s first ever Global Organic Cotton Life Cycle Assessment, which was launched in Portland.
Our partnership with Fairtrade International continued to thrive in Portland. Organic and Fairtrade initiatives share very similar values, and many grower groups in developing countries (and brands/retailers) choose to be both organic and Fairtrade certified. We also share some of the challenges and barriers to growth such as securing farmers access to non-GMO seed, and finding mutually beneficial ways for producers and brands/retailers to work together – in a way that provides positive environmental impacts, long-term security for farmers, and opportunities for farming communities to flourish.