COTTON: Pakistan named
‘Pioneer Better Cotton Country’ The first certified Better Cotton bales were produced and harvested in Pakistan this past season, and The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) has now named Pakistan a ‘Pioneer Better Cotton Country’.
This honour follows a successful programme named the Better Cotton Fast Track Program (BCFTP), developing healthier farming communities and improved economics by introducing more environmentally adapted agricultural practices according to criteria developed by the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). As a result, the project farmers in Pakistan produced almost 63,000 tonnes of Better Cotton.
The Better Cotton Fast Track Program was founded by a group of organisations including the Better Cotton Initiative, WWF, Solidaridad as well as retailers ( IKEA, Levis Strauss & Co, adidas, H&M and Marks & Spencer together with the funders IDH, ICCO and the Rabobank Foundation. It aims to speed up the production of Better Cotton in order to make it a recognised, tradable commodity. The goal is to reach a production of one million metric tonnes of Better Cotton lint by 2015.
The certified Better Cotton was produced in a pilot area that was originally part of the WWF and IKEA joint cotton project, started in 2005. The harvested lint was processed by local ginners and spinners before being made available to international buyers such as IKEA.