The BCI Growth and Innovation Fund (BCI GIF) is a global project portfolio managed in partnership with businesses, civil society partners and governmental bodies. The fund supports Better Cotton projects in eight countries including China, India, Pakistan, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, Turkey and Tajikistan. In 2014, BCI touched the lives of over 1.2 million cotton farmers who produced more than 2 million MT of Better Cotton lint, amounting to 7.6% of global production.
Joint investments in training and capacity building enable BCI to address the most pressing sustainability issues in cotton farming such as pesticide use, water efficiency and working conditions including child labour, gender inequities and poverty wages.
BCI retailer and brand members contribute to the fund in proportion to how much Better Cotton they use in their supply chains. BCI currently has over 50 retailer and brand members and is working to pass 60 by the end of 2016. Global institutional donors and government agencies are invited to match the fees contributed by the private sector in order to achieve a multiplier effect.
By 2020, we aim to reach 5 million farmers and train them on how to grow cotton in a way that is measurably better for the environment, farming communities and the economies of cotton producing areas.
In 2016, the fund will provide direct support to 800,000 farmers, working with over 40 implementing partners on 55 projects. With an annual investment of approximately €10 million, the BCI GIF is projected to deliver over 2 million MT of Better Cotton lint, which means almost 2 million hectares of land will be managed more sustainably thanks to the fund’s field-level investments.
We already enjoy the support of some of the world’s biggest retailers and brands, as well as some institutional funders. IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative based in the Netherlands, is BCI’s strategic partner for this project and is lending its expertise and management services. Pramit Chanda, the project lead at IDH, will also ensure that IDH contributes strategic insights to test innovations, accelerate the path to scale up and promote knowledge sharing.
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