LONDON – A major three-year study into the impacts of Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) certification on small-holder farmers in India has found that adherence to BCI standards had no significant impact in areas such as costs of production, cotton yields, farmer incomes, decent work and child labour. The study, published by ISEAL Alliance, set out to assess the extent to which process of being BCI licensed had an economic or social impact on smallholders. It was focused on 700 in households in Andhra Pradesh, India’, the vast majority of which depend on cotton as a main source of income. The underwhelming findings follow previous findings from India by the C&A Foundation where results for BCI farmers were in many cases no better for conventional farmers – and in some cases, worse.
The study included a baseline assessment (July to September 2015), an interim monitoring (August to November 2017) and a final evaluation (Augusto to November 2018). The study methodology employed theory-based evaluation and a Randomised Control Trial approach.