LONDON – Better Cotton has announced new partnerships with Espalgodon and the Regional Government of Andalucia to begin the production of Better Cotton-equivalent cotton in Spain. Espalgodon – a coalition of three Spanish agricultural organisations – represents all cotton farmers in the country, which are projected to produce around 64,000 tonnes of cotton in the 2023/24 season. The organisation submitted a Declaration of Interest in 2021, outlining domestic appetite to collaborate on the production of Better Cotton.
Better Cotton has worked with the Regional Government of Andalucia – Spain’s major cotton growing region – to recognise its Integrated Production System (IPS) as the country’s equivalent to the Better Cotton Standard System (BCSS). In practice, this will enable cotton produced on IPS licensed farms to be sold as ‘Better Cotton’.
Better Cotton inaugurated the launch of the partnership in Spain by hosting an event in Seville for all partners involved.
By aligning with organisations active in Spain’s cotton sector, Better Cotton said it can “tap into existing networks and local expertise while avoiding duplication. In return, native cotton farmers gain assurances that their product complies with the widely recognised Better Cotton Standard System.”
In the 2023/24 cotton season, Spanish cotton production is projected to decrease by upwards of 48 per cent from the previous season due to crop development issues exacerbated by droughts.
Better Cotton’s new country start-up process included the completion of a benchmarking report by third-party services provider PwC, which outlined the gaps between the two systems and the necessary action required to reach alignment.
“The impacts of climate change on Spain’s cotton crop are plain to see from the country’s projections for the 2023/24 cotton season. Espalgodon and the Regional Government of Andalucia have demonstrated their commitment to improving the sustainability credentials of domestically grown cotton, which can make farmers more resilient in the face of global warming,” said Alan McClay, chief executive officer, Better Cotton