Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) — a global not-for-profit organisation — is the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world. In the 2018-19 cotton season, 2.3 million BCI Farmers received training on more sustainable farming practices and produced 5.6 million tonnes of Better Cotton – that equates to 22% of global cotton production.
Better Cotton means producing cotton in a way that cares for the environment through processes that minimise the negative impact of fertilisers and pesticides, and care for water, soil health and natural habitats. BCI Farmers achieve better yields and more financial security through access to global markets, whilst improving the working conditions in their fields.
Cotton that is made in this way meets the Better Cotton Standard.The standard has been developed by the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), an independent multi-stakeholder organisation whose members are committed to making Better Cotton a mainstream product. From NGO partners to garment manufacturers, from the farmers to household brand names, all BCI’s Members are working to transform the way cotton is produced and safeguard the future of the sector.
The standard gives assurance that more responsible farming is happening on the ground. Every step of cotton production, from sowing and growing to picking and harvesting, adheres to seven Better Cotton Principles and Criteria. BCI Farmers are also expected to continually improve their production processes. The standard can be applied to different scales of cotton production.