WWF and the IKEA have launched a new progress report on their involvement with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). This includes details of reduced use of chemical pesticides, chemical fertilisers and water along with improved earnings and social benefits for workers during 2013.
The availability of Better Cotton is increasing rapidly. It is hoped that production can be large enough to make it a mainstream global commodity before 2020. BCI has the ambitious aim of having Better Cotton make up 30 per cent of global cotton production by 2020. Only two per cent or 6,70,000 metric tons of the cotton lint produced globally in 2012 was Better Cotton.
BCI aims to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity. It works with a diverse range of stakeholders across the cotton supply chain to promote measurable and continuing improvements for the environment and farming communities.
WWF and IKEA are both founding members of BCI. In the cotton growing regions of India and Pakistan they are helping about 40,000 farmers to produce BCI cotton. By using this method, farmers’ earnings in India jumped 45 per cent compared to earnings from conventional cotton cultivation methods. And there are environmental benefits also like the use of lesser pesticides, less water and fewer fertilisers.