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BCI Adds Garment Manufacturers to Better Cotton Tracer

Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) has closed the loop on traceability.

This month, the nonprofit furthered its efforts to promote responsible global standards for cotton production and establish end-to-end traceability by adding garment manufacturers to its Better Cotton Tracer system.

BCI said the move will allow it to verify the volumes of Better Cotton being sourced by its retailers and brands through products and suppliers from field to store.

When the traceability system first launched in 2013, it was only accessible to ginners, traders, spinners, retailers and brands. Since then it’s been developed to include fabric mills, import-export companies and yarns and fabrics traders, as well as garment manufacturers.

This means that all actors in the supply chain can now record their transactions electronically by noting the number of Better Cotton Claim Units (BCCUs) they received with a product, such as yarn, and allocate these units to the product sold to the next actor, such as fabric, so that the amount “allocated” does not exceed the amount “received.”

“The Better Cotton Tracer is the most widely-used and the only end-to-end traceability system of its kind in the cotton industry. Any ginner, merchant, supplier, agent or retailer can use our system no matter where they are located in the world for any Better Cotton-related raw material or finished product—from seed cotton to T-shirts,” Kerem Saral, BCI supply chain manager, stated. “It is simple, lean and user-friendly, which are the keys for developing a system that could be used by a ginner in Africa, a supplier in Turkey or a retailer in San Francisco with equal ease.”

While BCI acknowledged that its current system does not physically trace Better Cotton through the supply chain, it said that end-to-end traceability does strengthen the credibility of claims made by its retailer and brand members.

BCI’s Chain of Custody from Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) on Vimeo.