Vidalia Mills and General Standard are the first two companies to contribute to BASF’s new e3 Sustainable Cotton program–an unprecedented effort to provide additional economic support for farmers in the program who commit to growing sustainable cotton.
Brands, retailers, mills and other cotton fiber value chain companies sourcing e3 Sustainable Cotton will have the opportunity to contribute a monetary amount to the fund. At the end of each year, 100 percent of those funds will be distributed equally to e3 Sustainable Cotton farmers, which is in addition to a $2.50 per bale premium BASF provides to farmers enrolled in the program.
“We’re excited to have Vidalia Mills and General Standard join us in this first-of-its-kind commitment and look forward to even more brands pledging to the fund,” Jennifer Gasque-Crumpler, e3 Sustainable Cotton program manager for BASF, said. “Our vision for honest, fair, sustainable cotton isn’t possible without our dedicated farmers and we’re grateful to our cotton fiber value chain collaborators who understand the importance of rewarding their effort.”
Cotton farmers like Elizabeth Lague will be direct recipients of the fund. Lague grows Stoneville cotton in Tennessee and has been part of the e3 Sustainable Cotton program for the past two seasons. She also is a BASF business representative.
As a farmer, she appreciates the opportunity she has through the BASF program to connect her cotton with companies that want to create traceability and transparency through the entire cotton fiber value chain, starting with sustainable farming practices.
“For many generations, our family has worked the land with the mindset of leaving it better than we found it,” Lague said. “It’s encouraging to see brands support this mentality and reward the farmers behind the cotton.”
The e3 Sustainable Cotton Grower Fund is part of a program that provides field-level traceability and is driven by comprehensive verification and a valued reputation for growing socially equitable, economically viable and environmentally responsible cotton. Farmers who are part of the e3 Sustainable Cotton program commit to tracking eight sustainability measures with 100 percent of their eligible cotton acres, ranging from
water use and pesticide management to soil conservation and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
Through a series of digital platforms, the cotton they grow can be traced from an individual cotton bale in their field, all the way to the end consumer.
With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division connects innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real-world ideas that work for farmers, society and the planet. In 2020, the division generated sales of 7.7 billion euros.
BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, N.J., is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, based in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 18,800 employees in North America and had sales of $18.4 billion in 2019.