Farm Reports

Organic Cotton Sustainability Assessment - Summary of Findings (2015)

The aim of this project was to assess the attributes of organic cotton beyond the criteria listed explicitly in the Organic Standards. 

TE worked with producers, TE members, and field partners in fourteen countries to collect data for the assessment. From this data, we created an online tool that we call the Organic Cotton Sustainability Assessment Tool (OC-SAT).

This first report covers the key findings for Phase One of the OC-SAT which represents data from eight countries. We plan to complete the global baseline this year. Phase Two will include the remaining organic cotton producing countries.

The results within demonstrate both challenges and promising findings. Challenges at the farm level include pricing and payment, productivity, and lack of access to non-genetically modified seed. On a more encouraging note, farmers are successfully diversifying their crops and incomes, organizing their producer communities, and supporting female farmers. 

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Life Cycle Assessment of Organic Cotton Fiber (2014)

Textile Exchange engaged PE INTERNATIONAL, a global market leader in sustainability strategic consultancy, to conduct an Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for organic cotton fiber.

The study is based on data from producer groups located in the top five countries of organic cotton cultivation; India, China, Turkey, Tanzania and the United States. These countries account for 97% of global organic cotton production.

The LCA investigated the impact of organic cotton cultivation in the categories of climate change/global warming potential, soil erosion and soil acidification, water use and consumption and energy demand. 

The LCA study is in conformance with ISO 14040 and ISO 14044.The critical review panel included three of the leading figures in the field. The panel was chaired by Ing. Paolo Masoni, Research Director at ENEA in Italy. He was joined by Dr. Niels Jungbluth, CEO of ESU-service, Switzerland. and Dr. Christian Schader from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in Switzerland (FiBL). 

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Farm Engagement Annual Report (2013)

Textile Exchange's 2013 Farm Engagement Annual Report is dedicated to ICCO; our program partner and funder for the past eight years. 

In 2013, the Farm Engagement Program focused on strengthening TE’s position as a key connector and leader in organic cotton.

A large part of this work has been accomplished through TE’s Organic Cotton Round Table and the three task forces focussing on the sectors greatest challenges: Seed Security, Business & Investment Models (Matching Supply and Demand), and Engaging Consumers. 

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Farm Engagement Annual Report (2012)

In 2012 we celebrated our 10 year anniversary. Looking back over the past decade it’s fascinating to see how far we, and the textile industry at large, have travelled. “Organic” has been the starting point for textile sustainability, acting as a beacon for the entire industry. These days, the entire supply chain; farmers, manufacturers, brands, retailers and consumers are on a journey to more sustainable production and consumption.

We are proud of the role Textile Exchange has taken – as leaders, hand-holders, and fellow travelers. We are even more proud of the farmers, companies, and citizens with whom we are sharing this path. Read our Annual Report here.


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 Assessing Sustainability (2010)

A closer look at Sustainable Development in Organic Cotton Farming using Key Performance Indicators. While an organic certificate guarantees certain things, it is not a holistic indicator of sustainability; especially in areas of social and economic impacts but also in wider environmental issues such as soil fertility, water consumption and climate change. Textile Exchange has developed a sustainability assessment tool, which uses a Key Performance Indicator scorecard. The tool helps farmers explore key issues for the long term environmental, social and economic sustainability of organic cotton farming. Textile Exchange’s new report offers a birds-eye view of farmers’ self-analysis.
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A Snapshot of Crop Diversification (2010)

Income from the sale of certified organic cotton is obviously fundamental to organic cotton farmers’ livelihoods. However, there are other ways organic cotton farmers can generate income and improve livelihoods. Organic cotton generally requires the growing of other crops (such as rotation and trap crops) to maintain the organic system (e.g. to improve soil fertility, control pests and so on), just as important are the varieties of food these crops bring to the farmer’s table. This discussion paper looks at the benefits of crop diversification using case studies to illustrate emerging practice. A closer look at Africa, India and Latin America is carried out to explore some of the themes, issues and opportunities for organic cotton farmers.
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Farm System Crops Baseline Review (2009)

This report is a review of crops grown in rotation or as part of the organic cotton farm system. It covers highlights of the first year results of our research into ’farm system crops’; including the release of data on number of crops grown, crop variety, role of crops, and end-use. This research carried out by Textile Exchange and funded by ICCO, the Dutch inter-church organization for development co-operation, contributes to the body of knowledge about the environmental and socio-economic benefit of diverse farming systems.

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Farm Program - The First 5 Years (2006-10)

Organic by Choice: Organic Exchange started life in 2002 – set up as a charity working internationally to improve the markets for sustainable textiles. The Farm Development Program (FDP) commenced in 2006 with the generous funding and support of strategic partners ICCO (a Dutch development organisation). The goals of the FDP were to build a network of organic cotton farmers globally; supporting the growth of organic cotton production and facilitating the markets. Read about the work of the farm team and our achievements over the past five years.

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Organic Export Logistics (2009)

An Introductory Guide to Procedures. This manual has been prepared by Doraliz Aranda, based on her experience in South America working in international export logistics for grain exports (sesame, soya, etc.), and developing textile markets. It has been shaped by research and literature reviews, and results from workshops and conferences about this sector. The Guide provides a clear and concise summary of the main requirements and procedures for those wanting to learn more about trade negotiation, logistics or the documentation required for selling in the international market. It is meant to be a practical guide to introduce you to exports in as friendly a manner as possible.This guide will help you find ways to make your company more visible, to help buyers find you, to organize the first delivery of goods, prepare and organize the documents required and the best ways to negotiate and manage your payments and costs.

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Growing Sustainable Value Chains in Africa (2009)

Explore the potential of African organic agriculture and manufacturing. This PowerPoint presentation showcases the value chain resources in Southern and Eastern Africa, fully equipped to provide your business with a wide range of organic cotton products.

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Resource Directory - Southern and Eastern Africa (2008)

Receive this free sourcing guide which details the value chain participants, including their manufacturing capabilities, in this diverse and growing market.

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Sowing the Seeds of Change (2006)

Weaving Innovation and Integrity into Organic Agriculture. No longer is organic cotton a story of lower yields for higher incomes; it’s a story of innovation and discovery. It’s a story that clearly demonstrates the healthy alternatives to conventional agriculture that do not involve the use of harmful chemicals. For many early innovators in the organic movement, there was nothing quite like experiencing firsthand the contrast between conventional farmers who live day to day under a mountain of debt and health problems, and organic farmers who empower themselves and their families within a few short years and develop amazing joy, humour, and confidence in their ownership of a healthy, collaborative solution. This pioneering report developed into our annual Farm and Fiber Report.

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