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BURKINA FASO – Newly published research into the organic cotton sector of Burkina Faso, West Africa claims there is a ‘neo-colonial’, racial dimension to the imposition of Western standards on black farmers. The paper draws on 125 interviews with cotton sector actors, including organic cotton farmers, conventional cotton sector employees, scientists, and NGO employees.

It concludes that organic cotton farmers are being encouraged to comply with a variety of rules to “prevent the slightest contamination of the final product,” many of which, they claim, “act as a burden and barrier to transitioning into organics, while doing nothing to advance environmentally sustainable objectives and in some cases incentivising less sustainable practices.”

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