All About Organic Cotton

"The first year I planted organic cotton it was very hard work for me; the cleaning, treatment of the plant with natural remedies to repel and prevent pests, the hot weather… Now after 3 years I know without doubt this is what I want. My field is full of life, the soil is fertile, I can hear the birds again, and my family and I can enjoy nature again."

Antonio Benítez, Aratex farmer from Caaguazú - Paraguay

 

Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE MOVEMENTS (IFOAM)

 

Organic cotton is cotton that is produced, and certified, according to organic agriculture standards.

Organic cotton growing practices may vary slightly from country to country but common to all is the prohibition of the use of toxic and persistent synthetic agrichemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) and genetically modified seeds. Organic cotton is generally grown as part of a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic cotton production is knowledge-intensive; it combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.

If cotton is to be sold as organic, it requires a third party certification from an independent, accredited certification agency. Further in the processing chain, care must be taken not only to separate organic cotton from conventional cotton, but also to ensure environmentally-friendly processing. However, organic cotton can also be processed conventionally and the textile end-product can be sold as made from organic cotton.

See our Special Reports section in the Farm Library for latest views and research on the benefits of organic cotton. To find out more about trading organic including how organic cotton is priced please go to pricing organic.

 

Available downloads:

>> An Introduction to Organic Cotton