Welcome to Issue 23 of Engage. This month we bring you a rich and varied collection of news and narratives ranging from the release of our information-packed Farm & Fiber Report to the visual beauty of our World Environment Day activities.
When it comes to sustainability, this mix of analysis and art reflects the approach we take at TE. The recognition of both “head” and “heart” as we strive to innovative and creative ways to address issues such as climate change and food security. Solutions and change will require both the hard-and-fast facts and figures to support a business case, help us strategise, and guide plans for the future. It will also require a belief in what we do and why we do it; a heart connection with our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters around the globe. Which brings me to World Environment Day. If you have not viewed the inspiring and wonderful artwork prepared by our network of school children you will be in for a real treat! Read about Neena Truscott’s experience of coordinating the TE World Environment Day project in "News and Views" and follow the links to the full splendour of this project.
The Farm Team was delighted – and VERY relieved – to release our annual Farm & Fiber Report last month. This piece of work is always a huge undertaking each year; digging up data, verifying figures, and crunching numbers. Our 100 page report is packed with data and analysis of organic cotton production, trends, challenges and opportunities. We continue to bring you our perspectives on the sector and shine the light on where we need to improve. A full sector pre-competitive approach is necessary now more than ever to see organic cotton value chains stabilise and strengthen. You can access the report from the link provided in "New Resources" and we invite this community of practitioners and stakeholders to share your thoughts and feedback with us.
Our young intern Alice Dos Santos from Van Hall Larenstein University in the Netherlands is having an amazing time with us in Peru (her words!) and in return we are enormously grateful for her fresh perspectives, expertise, and magnificent support... not to mention her beautiful smile and “Can Do” attitude! We are delighted to include her diary entry in Engage this month – and will certainly not want to give her back at the end of July. Before she heads back to the Netherlands, Alice will spend some time visiting Peruvian organic cotton growers and helping us collect valuable insights into the seed situation. Peru has not allowed the introduction of genetically modified seed, and we will be interested to hear how organic farmers are building seed quality and security into their farming systems. We also want to hear about their challenges and needs for the future so we can better serve our Latin American community. If you wish to share your experiences and views with us please do contact Alice via email@example.com.
Continuing with Latin America, one of our "Special Features" this month is an interview with Doug Tompkins of Esprit fame – now an organic farmer with a passion for conservation in Argentina and Chile. Our friend Bernward Geier has kindly allowed Textile Exchange to re-print his interview with this champion of the environment. Do not miss this inspiring interview and stunning photos.
Prabha Nagarajan never fails to bring a special something to Engage. This month Prabha provides an intimate insight into women and agriculture. TE’s Silvere Tovignan and Helvetas’ Lazare Yombi bring us sharp and enquiring reports on two hot topics for Benin; GMOs and the progress of organic Fairtrade farmer organisation, respectively. Look out for these articles in our "Regional Updates".
As always there is something for everyone in this month’s Engage. We hope you enjoy the read we would like to encourage anyone with feedback or commentary they might wish to share, to send us an email. We would love to feature YOU in Engage next time! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org we look forward to hearing from you!
Director Farm Engagement
[Download Engage in French]
[Download Engage in Spanish]