While prices of conventional cotton have more than doubled compared to the beginning of Q2 2020, prices of organic cotton have also grown simultaneously. Of these, particularly the Indian and Turkish varieties are now selling at a premium. This is largely due to the growing demand for organic cotton post the pandemic. Compared to conventional cotton, price of Indian organic cotton has increased 20-fold over the last year. On the other hand, the premium for Turkish organic cotton has increased three-fold during the past 12 months.
Prices of organic cotton are increasing due to accelerated sustainability efforts in the global textile and clothing industry. Initiatives like the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles in Germany and the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge initiated by the Textile Exchange are also pushing up demand for organic cotton.
Currently, organic cotton constitutes only one per cent of global cotton production. Hence, if the present premium prices sustain, it will encourage more farmers to switch to organic cotton. World organic cotton production grew 56 per cent last year. Organic cotton makes up 0.7 per cent of total cotton production worldwide and involves more than 1,82,000 farmers. While 19 countries now boast of organic cotton production, 98 per cent is concentrated in seven countries: India, China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Tajikistan, the United States and Tanzania.