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LATEST NEWS

Cotton Trade: Where Does Your T-Shirt Grow?

Keith Tyrell, head of PAN UK accompanied UK journalist, Susanna Rustin, to the organic cotton fields of Benin.  Here Susanna met with members of the Beninese NGO OBEPAB and heard direct from the farmers. 

This is not only an inspiring story about OBEPAB and their commitment to removing pesticides from people's lives but one of farming innovation and success. With yields increasing and more farmers wanting to join, organic cotton in Benin is thriving. 

The article features in The Guardian weekend magazine and is available online.  

Photo by: Andrew Esiebo


Release Of TE's 2013 Organic Cotton Report

It’s been an exciting week here at Textile Exchange – not only have we seen Neil Young announce his support for organic cotton (see below!), but Thursday saw the release of our 2013 Organic Cotton Report. For the first time ever, it combines our annual Farm and Fiber Report with the Organic Cotton Market Report – reflecting the growing interconnectedness of the supply chain and allowing us to look at it more holistically.

The report explains the fall in production of organic cotton despite growing consumer demand and suggests solutions for redressing this imbalance. It also reveals the much-anticipated Top 10 lists, including the Top 10 Organic Cotton using companies in which H&M has reclaimed its position at top of the table, just above C&A.

 As well as all of this, the report contains 47 pages worth of other interesting, factual, up-to-date information on the organic cotton supply chain – from farm to market.

 Access to the full report is a TE Member benefit – but non-members can click here to either download a free executive summary or pay to download the full report.

 You can also read H&M’s Guardian article on our report here, which likens it to a school report for sustainable fashion companies!


Neil Young Backs Organic Cotton!

Yes, the Neil Young – the folk rock hero! He recently posted a blog on his website explaining his many reasons for turning to organic cotton and saying that he is taking steps towards removing all non-organic T-shirts from his official merchandise range. He has even been handing out free organic cotton T-shirts at his shows to encourage his fans to ‘Protect Earth’ (the slogan on his T-shirts) by buying organic cotton.

Read his personal blog post on the subject here (see post dated August 1st). 

Photo courtesy of www.neilyoung.com 


Former Computer Engineer Turns To Supporting Organic Cotton Through His India Based Business 'No Nasties' 

Apurva Kothari, formerly an engineer in the technology industry working with Fortune 500 companies, has spent the last 3 years developing ‘No Nasties’ – an India focused business selling 100% organic cotton T-shirts. The idea came about as a reaction to the growing number of farmer suicides in cotton growing regions of India. Kothari aims not only to help the farmer groups that supply ‘No Nasties’ with their organic cotton, but also to boost the whole market by raising consumer awareness of the advantages of organic over conventional cotton in terms of benefitting both farmers and the environment.

Read Swetha Amit's full interview with Kothari here.  


Demand For Organic Cotton In Europe Drives Corporate Investment In Ethiopia

In March, a ground-breaking deal was made that will see Ethiopia produce its first certified organic cotton. The Ayka Addis Textile & Investment Group, which sells mainly to Europe, has been importing growing amounts of organic cotton to meet demand for its organic textile products. However, it now plans to source this cotton domestically, enabling it to become an integrated ‘end-to-end’ producer of organic cotton products. In partnership with Omo Valley Agricultural Development Plc they have secured10,000ha of land for organic cotton production. The process of organic certification is cumbersome and costly for small-scale farmers in Ethiopia, which is why the organic cotton market was, until now, virtually non-existent. 

Read full article on the subject here.

Photo courtesy of UNPCB - Helvetas.


 Peru Passes Historic Law That Will Expand 'Rewards For Ecosystem Services' Model

Pic by Neil Palmer (CIAT), Cañete basin, PeruIt’s by no means a new concept in Peru but the payment for ecosystem services model is likely to expand quickly after the landmark ‘Law on Rewards Mechanisms for Ecosystem Services’ was passed in June. The law will formalize existing voluntary agreements and foster new deals, providing guidance for their practical implementation.

Under this system, for example, organic farmers in upland areas may be rewarded for their choice of sustainable farming method by city dwellers who benefit from cleaner drinking water than if these farmers were to farm conventionally - benefitting farmers, city dwellers and the environment alike.

Read CGIAR’s article on the subject here

Photo courtesy of Neil Palmer (CIAT) - Cañete basin, Per


Study Proves Significant Nutritional Differences Between Organic And Non-Organic Foods

It may be old news to existing proponents of organic food but the results of a recent scientific analysis (the most comprehensive to date) comparing organic and non-organic foods have been making headline news.

The study found organic foods to have significant nutritional benefits over non-organic, including fewer pesticides and higher antioxidant levels. These findings, together with the vast publicity they have received, are good news for organic since they dispel the common public misconception that the way we farm our food has little or no impact on its quality.

Read the Soil Association’s discussion on the topic here 


NEWS ARCHIVES  

To access past News items click here

Farmer In Focus

OBEPAB FARM GROUP (Benin)

Established: 1997
Structure: NGO-sponsered Producer Group
No. of Farmers: 542
We have organic cotton: Yes
Crops we grow commercially include: Bissap, Cashew, Cassava/Tapioca, Chilies, Cowpea, Maize, Millet, Okra, Pigeon Pea, Pinenuts, Sorghum, Soya, Vegetables (seasonal)
Farmer message: "OBEPAB promotes organic farming in Benin, West Africa. As one of the pioneers of organic cotton production in Africa, the success of OBEPAB's model is visible in the improved yields."

Farm Blog

The Farm Team brings you a regular digest of the latest developments in organic cotton farming, sustainability, impacts, and responsible business practice. Follow us here.

Latest Blog - Rural Communities In India - Thriving Through Organic

My India Travel Diary - First stop Arvind's organic producers, Akola, Maharashtra (Read on)

Second stop Appachi Eco-Logic Tribal organic farmers, Kabini, Karnatika (Read on)

Join Our Organic Cotton Round Table:


 Read Our 2013 Annual Report:


 


Siddhi's Blog

Siddhi is our Junior Ambassador and has started a blog to talk about her dreams for the future of the environment.

 


Future Shapers e-Book Now Available!


The Textile Exchange Trading Post is an online marketplace for the trade of organic cotton and other organic cotton and farm products.  Find out more


 

Textile Exchange has partnered with ethical clothing leaders Mantis World and Gossypium to produce our first limited-edition T-shirt collection for men, women and children. Funds raised will go towards training programs for organic cotton farmers in developing countries. Find out more!  


 

Big Numbers

241,697 mt
amount of organic cotton fiber produced in 2010
1.1 %
of global cotton production in 2010 was organic
15 %
increase in organic production on 2009 levels
23
number of countries growing organic cotton
275,300
number of organic cotton farmers in 2010
30 %
better water retention in organic soils
20 %
carbon emission reduction potential of organic soils
40-72 %
compensation potential by carbon sequestration
6
ave no. of food crops grown by organic cotton farmers
0
number of toxic or persistent chemicals used in organic
28 %
of crops grown for 'own use' by organic cotton farmers
>75 %
organic cotton farmers reported to be food secure
35 %
of the worlds textiles are made from cotton
40 %
of textile impacts are from growing cotton
25 %
of the earth's biodiversity lives in the soil

Engage Newsletter


Headlines:
  • World Environment Day: Think.Eat.Save.
  • An agro-ecological vision for US agriculture
  • Q&A with the man who set up Esprit: Doug Tompkins
  • Latest updates from Benin
  • Women farmers in organic cotton agriculture
  • Alice's Diary
Titulares:
  • Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente 2013 –Piensa. Come. Ahorra.
  • Una visión agroecológica para la agricultura de Estados Unidos
  • Solo una finca hermosa es una buena finca
  • Vuelve el debate sobre los organismos genéticamente modificados en Benín
  • Juntos somos más fuertes: La creación de una plataforma entre productores de algodón orgánico y de comercio justo en Benín
  • Mujeres agricultoras de algodón orgánico
  • El diario de Alicia: aventuras en las tierras de Perú
Titres:
  • Journée Mondiale de l’Environnement 2013 – Pensez, Mangez, Préservez
  • Une vision agro-écologique de l’agriculture des États-Unis d’Amérique
  • Seule une belle ferme est une bonne ferme
  • Le retour du débat sur les OGM au Bénin
  • Ensemble nous sommes plus forts : Mise en place d’une Plate-forme des producteurs et productrices de coton biologique et équitable au Bénin
  • Les femmes productrices de coton bio
  • Le carnet de route d’Alice les aventures au Pérou
Headlines:
  • New Collaborative Learning Series
  • Meet Alice dos Santos
  • Soil Association 2013 Organic Market Report
  • Government Policy in West Africa
  • Indo-African Forum
  • Brazilian know-how in support of cotton farmers
Titulares:
  • Nueva serie de aprendizaje colaborativo – Centrarse en el abastecimiento
  • Informe sobre el mercado ecológico en 2013 de la Soil Association
  • ¡Encantado de conocerte!
  • Algodón orgánico y política gubernamental en África Occidental: Benín entra en una nueva era
  • Una exposición diferente
  • Foro indio-africano y el Programa de asistencia técnica para el algodón
  • Un proyecto de 20 millones de dólares tiene por objeto transferir el saber hacer brasileño en apoyo a los agricultores del algodón
Titres:
  • NOUVELLE série sur l’apprentissage collaboratif - Mettre l'accent sur l'approvisionnement
  • Le Rapport 2013 sur les Marchés Bio de l’Associations des Sols
  • Ravi de faire votre connaissance !
  • Coton biologique et politique gouvernemental en Afrique de l’Ouest : le nouvel âge du coton biologique au Bénin.
  • Une exposition à objectifs multiples : Textile &Bijoux
  • Le Forum Indo-Africain et le Programme d’Assistance Technique du Coton
  • Un projet de $20 millions a pour but de transférer le savoir-faire brésilien pour soutenir les producteurs de coton.
Headlines:
  • Final Organic in Action Released
  • A Word From Our Members
  • Africa: Organic & FairTrade Cotton Production and Trade
  • India: A Renewed Philosophy
  • Latin America: Trends for 2012 and Predictions for 2013
Titulares:
  • Este mes se publica la última historia de “Acción Orgánica”
  • El informe reclama una nueva agenda de desarrollo para la agricultura a pequeña escala
  • Nuevas directrices para productos orgánicos
  • Producción y comercio de algodón orgánico y de comercio justo en África: acabar con el estancamiento en 2013
  • Una filosofía renovada
  • América Latina 2012
  • Mensaje de Arun Chandra Ambatipudi: ¡Juntos podemos hacer del mundo un lugar más sano!
  • Mensaje de Orlando Rivera – Fundador de Bergman Rivera y nuevo miembro del Consejo de Administración de TE
Titres:
  • Dernière édition ce mois-ci de la rubrique « Le Bio en Action »
  • Un rapport lance un appel pour un nouveau programme de développement de l’agriculture à petite échelle
  • Nouvelles directives pour le Bio
  • Coton Bio et Équitable en Afrique : Arrêt de la stagnation en 2013
  • Une philosophie renouvelée
  • Amérique Latine 2012
  • Un mot d’Arun Chandra Ambatipudi : Ensemble nous pouvons faire du monde un endroit plus sain !
  • Un mot d’Orlando Rivera – Fondateur de Bergman Rivera, et nouveau membre du conseil de TE
Headlines:
  • 2012 Sustainable Textiles Conference
  • Organic Cotton Round Table
  • Global Organic Cotton Campaign Launched
  • Seed Freedom: A Global Citizens’ Report
  • Cotton Industry holds Sustainability Conference
  • Comparing Organic and Conventional Cotton Production Systems in Benin
Titulares:
  • Mesa redonda sobre algodón orgánico de Textile Exchange
  • Campaña global en favor del algodón orgánico lanzada por la Soil Association y GOTS
  • Libertad de semillas: un informe global para los ciudadanos
  • La industria del algodón se centra en la sostenibilidad
  • Innovación para la seguridad alimentaria, la adaptación al cambio climático y la mitigación de la pobreza
Titres:
  • La Table Ronde sur le Coton Bio de Textile Exchange
  • Une campagne mondiale sur le coton bio est lance par la Soil Association et GOTS
  • La Liberté des Semences : Un Rapport des Citoyens du Monde
  • L’Industrie du Coton se Focalise sur la Durabilité
  • Recherche sur les technologies innovatrices, les pratiques et stratégies pour la sécurité alimentaire, l’adaptation aux changements climatiques et la réduction de la pauvreté
Headlines:
  • Textile Exchange - Farm Update
  • Announcement: Round Table on Organic Cotton
  • Benin: The challenge of remaining an organic cotton farmer
  • “Weaving is my destiny” ... adding value to cotton, locally
  • Interview with Carlos Tonon, Manager of Verde Textil - Argentina
  • Monitoring of genetically modified cotton in Paraguay
  • APEDA release Organic Textile Certification Standard
  • Organic in Action: Appachi and SKS farmers make way for wildlife
  • The effects of climate change on cotton production in Latin America
Titulares:
  • Noticias de nuestro encuentro de fincas
  • Benín: El desafío de seguir siendo un agricultor orgánico en un sector algodonero altamente subvencionado
  • “Tejer es mi destino” ... añadiendo valor al algodón, localmente
  • Entrevista a Carlos Tonon, gerente de Verde Textil - Argentina
  • Monitoreo de algodón OGM: El SENAVE habilitó el uso de algodón transgénico en Paraguay
  • La APEDA crea el estándar de certificación para textiles orgánicos
  • Acción Orgánica: Agricultores de Appachi y SKS ceden tierra a la fauna salvaje
  • Cambio climático: Los efectos del cambio climático en la producción de algodón en América Latina
Titres:
  • Les nouvelles de l’interface des producteurs
  • Bénin : Le défi de rester un cultivateur de coton bio dans un environnement d’un secteur du coton fortement subventionné.
  • « Le tissage est mon destin »... valorisation locale de la fibre de coton.
  • Interview avec Carlos Tonon, Directeur de Verde Textil - Argentine
  • Suivi du coton génétiquement modifié : Le SENAVE autorise l’utilisation de coton génétiquement modifié au Paraguay.
  • APEDA publie la Norme de la Certification du Textile Bio.
  • Le Bio en Action : Les producteurs d’Appachi et SKS donnent la priorité à la faune sauvage.
  • Les Changements Climatiques : Les effets des changements climatiques sur la production de coton bio en Amérique Latine.
Headlines:
  • FUTURE SHAPERS: Introducing Dibella
  • INTERVIEW with Vandana Shiva
  • NEW STUDY: Comparing yields of organic and conventional
  • NEW Improved Producer Group membership services
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Rio +20 – “The Future We Want”
  • REGIONAL UPDATES:News and views
Titulares:
  • “Modeladores del Futuro”: le presentamos Dibella
  • ENTREVISTA con Vandana Shiva
  • NUEVO ESTUDIO: Comparando las cosechas de la agricultura orgánica y convencional
  • Fincas y Fibra: notificación de los informes regionales
  • PRÓXIMAMENTE
  • ARTÍCULO ESPECIAL: Río +20 – “El futuro que queremos”
  • ENFOQUE REGIONAL
Titres:
  • Future Shapers vous Présente : Dibella
  • INTERVIEW avec Vandana Shiva par Bernward Geier
  • NOUVELLE ÉTUDE : Comparaison des rendements de l’agriculture bio et conventionnelle
  • NOUVELLES DE L’INTERFACE DES PRODUCTEURS
  • Production & Fibre : annonce des rapport régionaux
  • LES ÉVÉNEMENT SPECIAL : Rio +20 – « L’avenir auquel nous aspirons »
  • Point Régional
Headlines:
  • Anvil Knitwear sponsors the Farm Hub
  • Cotton Conversations
  • Cotton Futures: Visioning workshop
  • The year of the co-operative
  • Comparing organic and conventional cotton systems in Benin
  • Controlling pests in organic cotton
  • Corseda: organic silk project
  • India, the Cotton Export Ban and Thereafter
Titulares:
  • Anvil Knitwear patrocina el Enlace de Fincas
  • Boletín GOTS
  • Plataforma Comunitaria Mundial del Algodón Orgánico
  • Conversaciones del algodón
  • Futuro del algodón: Taller para visionarios
  • Guía para expertos sobre el algodón y la sostenibilidad
  • El año de la cooperativa
  • 4ª Conferencia Internacional sobre el desarrollo del sector orgánico en Europa central y oriental y en Asia central
  • 2ª Conferencia Orgánica de África
  • Comparación de los sistemas convencional y orgánico en Benín
  • Control de plagas en el algodón orgánico
  • Corseda: Proyecto de seda orgánica
  • India: La prohibición a las exportaciones del algodón y lo que vino después
Titres:
  • Anvil Knitwear le sponsor de l’Interface des Producteurs
  • La newsletter de GOTS
  • La Plateforme Mondiale de la Communauté du Coton Bio
  • Conversations sur le coton
  • L’Avenir du coton : l’Atelier de visualisation
  • Le Guide des initiés sur le Coton et la Durabilité
  • L’Année des Coopératives
  • La 4e Conférence Internationale sur le développement du secteur biologique dans l’Europe Centrale et de l’Est et l’Asie Centrale
  • La 2e Conférence Africaine sur l’Agriculture Biologique
  • Comparaison des systèmes de coton biologique et conventionnel au Bénin
  • Le contrôle des ravageurs du coton bio
  • Corseda: le projet de soie bio
  • Inde, l’interdiction de l’exportation de coton et les conséquences

Field Calendar

January - March

Follow the production of organic cotton from soil preparation to harvest.

 

For each month see what is going on in the fields around the world. For a general introduction to cotton growing follow our learning journey.

 

Want to find out how cotton is grown? Take our learning journey here


January - March

Follow the production of organic cotton from soil preparation to harvest.

 

For each month see what is going on in the fields around the world. For a general introduction to cotton growing follow our learning journey.


January - March

Follow the production of organic cotton from soil preparation to harvest.

 

For each month see what is going on in the fields around the world. For a general introduction to cotton growing follow our learning journey.


January - March

Follow the production of organic cotton from soil preparation to harvest.

 

For each month see what is going on in the fields around the world. For a general introduction to cotton growing follow our learning journey.


Learning Journey

Follow us on a journey to explore the world of organic cotton...
About 1.4 billion people depend on small-scale farming for their livelihoods.