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17.08.2020

New Strategic Cooperation with the Organic Cotton Accelerator

Joint Action to Promote Organic Cotton

We are proud to announce our strategic cooperation with the Organic Cotton Accelerator. The cooperation of the two multi stakeholder initiatives is to promote the availability of organic cotton and to improve the alignment of supply and demand.

This should facilitate the procurement of organic cotton for fashion companies, retailers as well as suppliers, while boosting the positive impact of organic cotton on people, planet and prosperity at the farm-level. Through this strategic collaboration the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles encourages and supports its members who wish to establish direct relationships with organic cotton farmers through the OCA platform and to provide those farmers with targeted support.

These measures contribute to the joint goal of the Partnership members : By 2025, the share of sustainable cotton is has to be increased to a total of min. 70 percent of which 20 percentage points have to come from certified organic cotton.

The cooperation focuses on the following areas:
  • awareness and knowledge of brands, retailers and farmers on practical approaches and solutions to improve the availability and impact of organic cotton
  • Sharing of resources and capacity buildingfor small-scale farmers and multipliers for efficient and beneficial cultivation of organic cotton
  • Jointly develop supporting tools for brands and retailers to provide relevant information for sustainable sourcing.
The Future of Organic Cotton Farming

The organic cotton available worldwide covers less than 1% of the total quantity of cotton. Consequently, brands struggle to meet their demands with the organic cotton available while small-scale farmers often do not have the capacities and support needed to grow cotton according to organic criteria. Therefore, coming together as a sector to create the conditions for organic cotton to thrive is now needed more than ever.

“At OCA, we support farm-level interventions because we believe that by supporting the farmer, we strengthen the sector and we safeguard the planet. For this positive effect to be fully realised; we need commitment and collaboration across the whole sector. The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles understands the power of collaboration and knows that by pooling forces, their members can use their combined strengths to initiate broader change in production countries. With this strategic cooperation, we aim to mobilise and support more brands and retailers in taking tangible action in their own supply chains to secure their organic cotton at the farm level and deliver tangible benefits to farmers, such as better prices and secure offtake for their organic cotton and access to organic seeds and training. By working in unison, we can achieve so much more than acting alone.” - Bart Vollaard, OCA Executive Director.

"The market for certified organic cotton poses one of the mysteries in our efforts for a fairer and more sustainable textiles and garment industry: Brands and retailers say they struggle to get their hands on the material whilst many farmers complain that they have to sell their organic produce through conventional channels without any premiums. By entering into a strategic cooperation with OCA, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles strives to increase the leverage for change in organic cotton supply chains to solve this mystery and increase production and availability of certified organic cotton. Building more and stronger links between supply and demand plays an important role in this endeavour as this will reduce risk at farm level thus enabling more small-scale farmers to convert their production to organic and sell their produce at a premium." Jürgen Janssen, Head of the Partnership Secretariat.

Organic Cotton Accelerator

The Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) is the only multi-stakeholder organisation dedicated to organic cotton. As a global platform, OCA is committed to bringing integrity, supply security and measurable social and environmental impact to organic cotton.

OCA unites the sector to unleash the potential of organic cotton because the MSI envisions a future where we have fully realised the Organic Cotton Effect - organic cotton’s powerful and positive impact on people, planet and prosperity.

Since the establishment in 2016, with founding partners Laudes Foundation, H&M, Kering, Eileen Fisher, Textile Exchange, Tchibo, Inditex and C&A, OCA has been committed to convening the sector around a common agenda and using our platform’s collective investments to act as a catalyst for change.

At OCA, special attention is paid to two central measures: firstly, the support of small farmers through training and premium payments to strengthen the business case for organic cotton farming and secondly; the promotion of environmentally friendly practices in organic cotton cultivation.

The main instrument of the initiative is the optimisation of common procurement practices amongst its members. This means enhancing farmer profitability and prosperity, contributing to environmental sustainability, and ultimately bolstering the integrity of the cotton sector. This cotton season of 2020/21, procurement projects led by partner brands cover around 23,000 farmers in five Indian states (Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan). Building on the past successes of its programmes, OCA is currently developing its Strategy Plan for 2030 and planning to expand its geographic scope to other key-producing countries beyond India.

Further information about the vision and activities can be found at OCA´s website..

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