IDH partnered with Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to launch Better Cotton Growth & Innovation Fund (Better Cotton GIF) in 2016. The Fund was established to to continue the work started under the Better Cotton Fast Track Program (BCFTP) to transform cotton production globally and develop Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity.

Better Cotton GIF addresses vital sustainability issues such as pesticide use, water efficiency and working conditions including child labor, gender inequities and poverty in cotton farming through its support of the Better Cotton Standard System (BCSS), which is a holistic approach to sustainable cotton production that covers all three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic.

The Fund provides a mechanism for retailers and brands to make investments that can lead to a tangible impact at the field – level, which cannot be achieved alone. The BCI Council, in partnership with BCI Retailers and Brands, civil society members and government bodies, governs the GIF. Its governance model provides contributing partners an active voice in driving the success of their investments and creating a more sustainable future for the farmers, businesses, brands and consumers that are involved in the cotton industry. The Fund also enables public-private cooperation on an unprecedented scale – laying the foundation for successful long-term implementation. IDH is a strategic partner and funder for the Better Cotton GIF.

Working closely with organizations, government, the private sector, and workers and farmers in the cotton industry, we have made a significant contribution to sustainable market transformation in cotton by way of an innovative multi-stakeholder setting.

The growth of the program over the last two years establishes the success of the program by increasingly reaching out to farmers and promoting sustainability in the cotton supply chain.

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In the 2020-21 cotton season, the Fund worked with 1.8 million* cotton farmers in India, Pakistan, China, Mozambique, and Turkey. The farmers received training and support from the Fund through regional Implementing Partners (IPs). Better Cotton GIF directly invested €9.3 million* from BCI Retailer and Brand Members, public donors (DFAT and Laudes Foundation), and IDH and mobilized an additional €3.4 million* in co-funding from IPs and supply-chain partners (social enterprises, ginners, spinning mills, and garment manufacturers), to create a total portfolio value of €12.7 million. For more details, read the Materials Yearbook 2020 here.


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