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Better Cotton Re-Shapes IDH Partnership

Better Cotton and IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative, have redefined their partnership to collectively work toward the sustainable transformation of the cotton sector for the 2022-2030 period.

During this time, IDH and Better Cotton will continue to collaborate to support the transformation of the cotton sector through deepening social and environmental impacts in cotton-growing regions, reducing climate change impacts and engaging with brands on sustainable sourcing practices. IDH will also continue to support the Better Cotton Growth & Innovation Fund (Better Cotton GIF) as a funder and strategic partner, but will hand over the management of the fund to Better Cotton.

IDH and Better Cotton said they are committed to building a cotton sector that promotes climate-resilient approaches that support farmer livelihoods and agricultural practices that protect and restore the environment, as well as business models that incentivize and sustain this transformation. They will cooperate in these areas of mutual interest through program development, field interventions and scaling investment opportunities through impact funding.

“Together, we have come a long way in achieving market transformation toward sustainable cotton and improving livelihoods of over 2 million cotton farmers globally,” Pramit Chanda, global director-textiles and manufacturing at IDH, said. “The Better Cotton model is established as one of the most successful global sustainability standards, including nearly a quarter of the global cotton production. We are both proud, as well as humbled, with what has been achieved and we look forward to elevating this partnership with Better Cotton to the next level and drive additional impact for the cotton farmers globally.”

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IDH and Better Cotton have worked closely as strategic partners since 2009, when the Better Cotton Standard System was originally launched, and the Better Cotton Fast Track Program (BCFTP) was established to create momentum for the global cotton market transformation. BCFTP, managed by IDH, drove innovative public-private commitments to accelerate the supply and sourcing of Better Cotton. By the end of the program in 2015, it supported the production of nearly 2 million metric tons of Better Cotton and the capacity building of 663,000 farmers in eight countries.

“Since the inception of Better Cotton, IDH has been one of our most important and dedicated partners,” Lena Staafgard, chief operating officer at Better Cotton, said. “They took the lead in securing growth and acceleration of the standard through the establishment of the BCFTP and have continuously provided challenge and support, helping ensure our strategies and interventions are impactful and efficient.”

IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative works with businesses, financiers, governments and civil society to realize sustainable trade in global value chains. It works in multiple sectors and landscapes in Africa, Asia and Latin America with over 600 companies, financial institutions, producer organizations and governments toward sustainable production and trade.

Better Cotton is the world’s largest cotton sustainability program, with a mission of helping cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. Its network of field-level partners has trained over 2.5 million farmers in 25 countries in more sustainable farming practices. Nearly a quarter of the world’s cotton is now grown under the Better Cotton Standard.