The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a global sustainability program focused at farm level improvements.
BCI has members throughout the supply chain that are committed to the production and supply of cotton produced under a set of BCI standards covering social and environmental issues like pesticide management and child labour.
Cotton Australia signed a formal partnership agreement with BCI on behalf of Australia’s cotton industry in June 2014. Cotton Australia will continue to manage the industry’s relationship with BCI, has recently secured a seat on the BCI Council (its global overseeing Board) and will assist growers to become myBMP certified so they can participate in the program.
Australian cotton growers must do three things to qualify as a BCI grower:
- Achieve myBMP certification
- Pay your full Cotton Australia levy
- Register with BCI
BCI is a global, multi-stakeholder organisation that operates at many levels in many countries.
Very simplistically, BCI:
- Partners with organisations (like Cotton Australia) to facilitate cotton farmers to use BCI best practices, and then audits them to make sure it’s happening
- Partners with brands and retailers to encourage demand for BCI cotton
- Channels funds from membership and public-private partnerships back into the supply of Better Cotton through farm-level training and verification
- Facilitates Better Cotton into the supply chain using a mass balance model
Why should growers opt in to BCI?
Australian growers now have access to premium markets for cotton grown on myBMP certified farms by opting in to BCI. Over the past two seasons many BCI growers have negotiated an additional $3 - $8 for bale for their BCI credits. The value of BCI credits varies each season, and the price depends on the supply and demand for sustainable cotton on international markets.
Further information available for download:
- Introducing the Better Cotton Initiative - Q&A
- How to opt in to BCI in Australia
- Trading Better Cotton - Q&A
- How to use the Better Cotton Tracer - Australian Edition
- Watch video: committed to global partnerships - large farms and brands talk BCI
To go to the official BCI website, please click here.
The Sustainable Australian Cotton Production Supplying International Markets project is supported by Cotton Australia through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme and the Cotton Research Development Corporation