About Farm Engagement


LATEST NEWS

Seed Dialogues

We would like to draw your attention to a new page on the Farm Hub - 'Seed Dialogues' - which includes interviews with leaders of 5 different projects all aiming to improve farmer access to organic and non-GMO cottonseed. The interviews were filmed at last years annual conference in Istanbul and were kindly funded by Inditex.

One of these projects, the 'Green Cotton Project', features in the fantastic short video (opposite), produced by FiBL, about the use of participatory research to foster innovation in agriculture.

Another of the projects, the 'Seed Guardians Project', recently featured in online Spanish newspaper Hispanidad - click here to read the article.

Please take time to visit the new Seed Dialogues page to hear more about all five of the fantastic projects striving to improve availability of organic and non-GM cotton seed.  

 


Q&A with H&M's Erik Karlsson

The Guardian recently quizzed H&M's Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, Erik Karsson, about the company's new 'Conscious Denim' collection (see below). The interview goes over some of the environmental credentials of the new collection as well as touching on topics such as consumer behaviour. Read the interview here.

 


H&M launches new ‘Conscious Denim’ collection

Retail giant H&M, who was announced as the biggest user of organic cotton in the TE Organic Cotton Report 2013, has launched a new collection - ‘Conscious Denim’. At least 50% of each garment in the new collection is made from ‘sustainable’ materials (which include organic cotton, organic linen and recycled wool) and water use during production of the range has apparently been cut by 56%. 

H&M has set the goal of using only ‘sustainable’ cotton (including organic cotton, recycled cotton and cotton from the ‘Better Cotton Initiative’) by 2020. They are also working to improve the sustainability of other fabrics, such as leather, and is the first fashion company to launch a global garment collection project - where customers’ old clothing is recycled into new.

You can read Gina-Marie Cheeseman’s blog post on the subject here.


Aral Sea Now ‘Completely Dried Up’

Once the world’s fourth largest lake, NASA has made a shock announcement that the Aral Sea has ‘completely dried up’, providing a stark and devastating reminder of the true and devastating cost of the fashion industry.

Despite the link between cotton production and the drying up of the Aral Sea being widely acknowledged, the practice has continued and cotton remains one of Uzbekistan’s largest cash crops. Much of it ends up in Bangladesh and China, where it is manufactured into garments destined for the European market.

A recent Guardian article on the topic notes that ‘this is the reality of a subcontracted deregulated industry not bound by any global environmental…legislation’. In the article, fashion designer and environmentalist Katherine Hamnett stresses the need for brands to implement legally binding contracts with suppliers that ensure they do not purchase Uzbek cotton. She also advises phasing out conventional cotton and instead investing more into organic cotton.

Read the full Guardian article here.


Composting ‘Revolution’ in West Africa

A recent article in the Ecologist has highlighter the rise in popularity of composting amongst farmers in West Africa, as awareness of its benefits to soil fertility spread.  

Organic cotton farmer Moussa Konate, for example, who is a participant of the Syprobio Project, observed that 'the cotton parcel where the quality compost was applied has much taller plants and more cotton buds when compared to the parcel where undecomposed organic waste was applied'.

Moussa learnt the technique of producing good compost from the Malian Organic Cotton Association and says he has found the effects to be more reliable and long-lasing than mineral fertilisers; ‘if it rains after applying mineral fertilisers, they will be washed by the water, whereas compost absorbs water instead of being carried by it’.

It has also been observed that parasites such as ‘striga’ thrive under poor soil conditions, meaning that increasing soil fertility through composting has the dual benefit of improving yields and reducing the presence of such parasites.

You can read the full article on this story here.

Photo: Moussa Konate cultivating his fields. Credit: Fernando Naves Sousa. 


Ecofarms Features In Leading Indian Business Magazine

'Outlook Business', a popular business magazine in India, has written a great article about Ecofarms - an organic social enteprise based in Maharashtra and Odisha. Ecofarms works with around 16,000 farmers across 290 villages, supporting them to grow cotton and food crops organically and offering a fair price by cutting out the 'middle men'. It is also able to forecast demand for different products to farmers in advance, since they are linked to so many buyers.

The article details Ecofarms successful growth over recent years and its plans for the future. Read the full article here.

Photo courtesy of Soumik Kar.


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)

New Release: Life Cycle Assessment for Organic Cotton: 


Read Our Organic Cotton Round Table Highlights:



 


Siddhi's Blog

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

 


 

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.