LONDON – The Better Cotton Initiative says it is “unlikely” to meet its target of having 10 per cent of global cotton production being sourced as Better Cotton by the end of 2020. The NGO’s latest annual report shows cotton produced by licensed BCI Farmers now accounts for 22 per cent of global cotton production, with licensed BCI Farmers producing 5.6 million metric tonnes of Better Cotton in the 2018-19 growing season. However, just 1.5 million metric tonnes of this cotton was sold as Better Cotton, with the remainder sold onto the conventional cotton market. This means that in total, 6 per cent of global cotton production is sold as Better Cotton.
The report only briefly touches on the elephant in the room, namely the fact that the BCI Council suspended BCI assurance and licensing activities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China – effective beginning the 2020-21 season – due to widespread global concerns around forced and prison labour in cotton and apparel supply chains in XUAR.
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