Envisioning a sustainable African cotton and textile sector
Cotton is grown worldwide and is by far the most important renewable raw material in the global textile industry. In Africa, cotton is predominantly grown by over 3.5 million smallholder farmers, and the sector is one of the most important sources of rural employment and cash income.
Our vision at the Cotton Expert House Africa is to support the development of a sustainable African cotton and textile chain of custody that is socially fair, environmentally friendly and profitable – from field to fashion.
For us this means a cotton value chain that is
- Ecologically sustainable with regard to plant protection, reduction of chemical pesticides, soil fertility, water management and biodiversity.
- Socially sustainable with regard to avoidance of child and forced labour, health and operational safety, payment of minimum/living wages and the involvement of all gender.
- Economically sustainable with regard to access to sales markets, efficient resource allocation and management practices.
It is our concern to support this large number of smallholder cotton farmers to secure a sustainable African cotton and textile industry, which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
In partnership with cotton companies, that provide farmers with access to information, skills training, extension and innovation, we support the adoption of sustainable production and management practices. This builds the foundation for a stable cotton production, improved chances for national, regional and international sales markets und thereby strengthens the economic development of rural areas in Africa. Aspects that are important to improve the living conditions of a large number of smallholder farmers in cotton-based production systems in Africa, now and in the future.
On the road to a sustainable cotton and textile chain of custody, the team of the Cotton Expert House Africa supports farmers, cotton companies, ginners and textile companies in a standard neutral manner. With our efforts, we aim to establish the Cotton Expert House Africa as a strong support institution for Africa, which will eventually be based entirely on the African continent.