Towards sustainable market transformation: Better Cotton uptake crosses one million MT mark

In 2018, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) Retailer and Brand Members sourced a record level of Better Cotton – over one million metric tonnes – illustrating how retailers and brands are driving demand for sustainable cotton production and helping to transform the market.

BCI Retailer and Brand Members contribute to the Better Cotton Growth and Innovation Fund (Better Cotton GIF) through a volume-based fee. This fee, which is based on the volume of Better Cotton that a member declares as sourced as Better Cotton, is directly invested into training farmers on more sustainable agricultural practices. Increased uptake of Better Cotton enables increased investment in farmer training at field-level.

The Fund also invites global institutional donors and government agencies to match the fees contributed by BCI Retailer and Brand Members. This enables the Fund to increase the capacity of its portfolio and encourage other stakeholders such as Implementing Partners and supply chain partners to invest in the BCI Programme, ensuring that the projects under the Fund can achieve scale.

In the 2018-19 cotton season, the Better Cotton GIF directly invested €8.7 million, from BCI Retailer and Brand Members, public donors and IDH, in field-level programmes. The Fund also mobilised an additional €3.4 million in co-funding from Implementing Partners and supply chain partners (social enterprises, ginners, spinning mills and garment manufacturers) – creating a total portfolio value of €12.1 million*. These investments enabled the Fund to reach out to 1.3 million* cotton farmers in the 2018-19 cotton season.

IDH is the strategic partner for the Better Cotton GIF, under which it has taken up the role of the fund manager in addition to being an important funder. As a strategic partner, IDH is also leading work on scaling the BCI Programme through identifying and engaging with potential partners and driving innovations within the Fund.

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*Better Cotton GIF contracted figures for the 2018-19 season. Please note that these figures are estimates and are subject to change.