Cotton Trailblazers celebrates organic
Today, C&A Foundation and the government of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh are hosting the event Cotton Trailblazers, in Bhopal. The event is a celebration of Madhya Pradesh’s global leadership in organic cotton production and the role of organic cotton cultivation in improving the livelihood of farmers in India. But it is also meant to facilitate a dialogue between stakeholders of the organic cotton supply chain on working collaboratively to build a robust and resilient organic cotton sector.
Participants include government representatives including policy-makers and members from academia; stakeholders from across the organic cotton supply chain including representatives of international brands and retailers as well as a large numbers of organic cotton farmers; all of whom applauded the initiatives of the Government of Madhya Pradesh in creating a favorable policy environment for organic cotton cultivation in the state. The speakers highlighted the challenges the sector was facing and called on stakeholders to work collaboratively towards building a prosperous value chain for organic cotton that benefits everyone from farm to store – farmers, manufacturers, brands, research institutes, and civil society.
“This event highlights that it is the collective and focused effort from all stakeholders of the organic cotton ecosystem in the state, that need to come together and support the real heroes of this sector - the organic cotton farmer.”Head of Sustainable Raw Materials Anita Chester
Speaking about the event, Anita Chester, Head Sustainable Raw Materials of C&A Foundation said, “Madhya Pradesh is the leader in India’s organic farm output and a global leader in the production of organic cotton. This needs to be celebrated. We also need to make note of the many challenges that present themselves in the sector so there is much still to be done. This event highlights that it is the collective and focused effort from all stakeholders of the organic cotton ecosystem in the state, brands, retailers, supply chain actors, civil society members, academicians and the state government, that need to come together and support the real heroes of this sector - the organic cotton farmer."
"We at the C&A Foundation," continued Chester, "are delighted to be partnering the government and will continue to foster this collaboration of the different stakeholders so that both the organic cotton sector and the farmers who are part of it continue to flourish and keep the flag of both Madhya Pradesh and India flying high.”
Despite the fact that organic cotton farming is beneficial for the environment and helps farmers in reducing cultivation costs by adoption of natural (non-chemical) inputs in cultivation – organic cotton production remains less than 1% of the global cotton production. The Government of Madhya Pradesh and C&A Foundation seek to change this scenario. The Cotton Trailblazers event is one such step in this direction to taking the state further in its organic cotton journey.