‘Time For Action’ Report Outlines Actions Necessary To Grow The Indian Organic Cotton Sector

Industry leaders from the Indian organic cotton sector agreed it was ‘time for action’ when they met for an inaugural Organic Cotton Roundtable in Indore on 19-20 March 2014. A report outlining their agreed actions has been published today, entitled ‘Time for Action: Key Issues and Actions Facing the Cotton Sector in India’.

The Organic Cotton Roundtable was organised by CottonConnect and curated and funded by C&A Foundation and involved over 170 people from the industry.

One of the primary actions agreed by the participants of the Roundtable was to set up an Organic & Fair Cotton Secretariat which will build an enabling environment for developing responsible organic cotton supply chains; create a credible Indian organic brand; and enhance livelihoods for smallholder organic cotton farmers.

The Organic & Fair Cotton Secretariat will focus on three areas:

1) Policy and advocacy
2) Identifying and leveraging resources
3) Providing support services – covering social, technical, legal, research and impact aspects of cotton production – to accelerate the growth of the organic cotton sector.

Commenting on the Time for Action report, Alison Ward, CEO of CottonConnect said: “The organic cotton sector faces a global shortfall of up to 50% by 2015. It is time for action to prevent a gap developing between demand and supply which could be as big as the current world production. The Time for Action report outlines the key areas where the Indian cotton sector has recognised the need to work together on joint action plans. We hope the clear commitment from industry leaders will forge a strong future for organic cotton.”

Leslie Johnston, C&A Foundation’s Executive Director said: “The challenges in growing the organic cotton sector are immense, and no single entity can solve them alone. Initiatives such as the Organic Cotton Roundtable offer the opportunity to join like-minded partners who commit to helping India to realize its potential in sustainable fibre production. At C&A Foundation, we are inspired by the outcome of this first convening and look forward to supporting the follow-up actions that ultimately will improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.”

In addition to establishing the Organic & Fair Cotton Secretariat, other key actions identified in the report are a focus on seed supply; supporting seed research and development; sharing good agricultural practices; improving efficiencies in organic supply chains; improving integrity and use of certification and improving transparency and 100% certification.

The event was attended by cotton farmers, farm groups, ginners, spinners, brands, certification bodies, NGOs, government officials and key cotton buyers from all over India.
To download a copy of ‘Time for Action: Key Issues and Actions Facing the Cotton Sector in India’ visit www.cottonconnect.org.
Media contact: For more information please contact Arvind Rewal, General Manager South Asia
Arvind.rewal@cottonconnect.org

 

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