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GENEVA – Better Cotton has launched a new framework which it claims will measure sustainability in cotton. The launch of the Delta Framework is, the cotton standard says, “a common set of environmental, social, and economic indicators to measure sustainability across the cotton and coffee commodity sectors.”

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The framework, which would appear to mark a complete shift away from the traditional use of LCA methodology to measure environmental impact, has been in development for three years. It is also backed by Textile Exchange, Cotton Connect, Fairtrade and Cotton Australia, among other bodies. All have signed a memorandum of understanding in which they commit to “align on Impacts Measurement and Reporting,” around the framework.

Each member has committed to identifying a timeline for integrating Delta indicators into their own monitoring, evaluation and reporting systems.

Said a statement from Better Cotton: “The Delta Framework was developed through a cross-sector collaboration over the past three years, focused on producing a consolidated and consistent way to measure and report the progress of farms participating in sustainable commodity certification schemes or other sustainable agriculture initiatives. 

“The Framework is also accompanied by examples of best practices, methodologies and tools to encourage stakeholders to adopt and use the framework, alongside recommendations on how private or public entities can effectively utilise the framework and communicate sustainability information to their stakeholders.”

Better Cotton CEO, Alan McClay said: “Better Cotton is proud to have initiated and coordinated this cross-sector collaboration, which brings together expertise from across the agricultural sector. The Delta Framework is making it easier for the private sector, governments and farmers to report effectively on sustainability progress, leading to improvements in the quality of support and services provided to farmers, including better financing and government policies.” 

The Delta Framework was funded by the ISEAL Innovations Fund, which is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). 

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