While the demand for organic cotton grew considerably over the past decades, the assurance delivery system for organic cotton started to show its limitations. Fragmentation of standards, lack of transparency and unclear governance resulted in a poor business case for all supply chain partners and serious integrity issues on the organic origin of certified products in some of its origin countries, like India.
Without collaborative sector action, the organic cotton claim will lose its credibility and the sector will start seeing its buyers moving away to other sustainable fiber alternatives. It is only through increased traceability of products origin, transparency on supply chains and an inclusive governance structure that the organic cotton sector can be a viable sector of choice that benefits all, from grower to consumer.
(Header picture © Dinesh Khanna for C&A Foundation)