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Better Cotton Initiative

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Bernadette Goldstein, Sales and Marketing Managerphone icon510.452.6825 Email
cotton field

Meet rising brand, retailer and consumer expectations for transparency regarding your cotton production practices. Growers who follow the standard stewarded by The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), grow cotton in a way that reduces stress on the environment and improves the livelihoods and welfare of farming communities. The BCI standard system is a holistic approach to sustainable cotton production which covers all three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social and economic.

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Program Details

Cotton growers or grower groups can apply to BCI. All growers must complete the necessary steps with BCI directly prior to requesting a verification visit.

BCI has the specific aims of reducing the environmental impact of cotton production, improving the livelihoods and economic development in cotton producing areas, and increasing commitment to Better Cotton through the supply chain.  For growers, the goals of Better Cotton are articulated through the 6 production principles that specify requirements for:

  • Crop Protection
  • Water
  • Soil
  • Habitat
  • Fiber Quality
  • Decent Work
  1. Opt-In: Communicate your interest in become licensed to BCI by providing a short description of your farm, cotton acreage and production estimates for the season.
  2. Complete Online Self-Assessment: BCI will email you a set of questions about your farm management relating to labor, soil, habitat, worker safety and water.
  3. Request a Verification Visit: Once you have completed the necessary steps, BCI will instruct you on contacting a verifier. After contacting SCS directly, we will work with you to determine the details of the verification visit (e.g., scope, timing).
  4. Prepare for a Verification Visit: SCS will provide a certification manual and self-assessment checklist to assist in the preparation for on-site verification visit
  5. Undergo Verification Visit: A SCS verifier will access your farm on-site.
  6. Receive a Better Cotton License: If your farm meets the minimum requirements, you will receive a license to market Better cotton. Farms enrolling individually receive a 1-3 or 5 year license per their scores on the improvement criteria.
  7. Submit Results: Within 12 weeks of harvest, submit your final production figures to BCI with total water, fertilizer and pesticide applications for the season’s cotton crop. 
  1. Meet a global standard that demonstrates your farm’s commitment to safeguard the environment, and the health and well-being of farmers, staff workers and communities
  2. Join a global effort to protect and improve the long-term viability of the cotton industry. The BCI standard currently covers over 1 million growers and over 8% of world production.
  3. Satisfy stakeholder expectations for transparency regarding cotton production practices by demonstrating your farm’s commitment to managing the environmental and social impacts of cotton farming.
  4. The BCI license gives you access new customers as it is supported by some of the strongest brands, retailers and traders in the world: over 500 members from 30 countries reported in 2014 with a 50% growth rate per year.
  5. The BCI license can also enhance your farms reputation and help protect against reputational risks. 

For immediate service:

Bernadette Goldstein, Sales and Marketing Manager phone icon 510.452.6825 Email Bernadette