BETTER COTTON

An unusual partnership to reduce the severe impacts of cotton production
on people and the environment
by Anna Bexell, IKEA, and Dr. Walter Wagner, WWF Switzerland
20th March, 2009

About Better Cotton Initiative
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) aims to make global, conventional cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future. The BCI includes representatives from across the cotton supply chain and beyond.
www.bettercotton.org

Current cotton cultivation methods put stress on the environment it grows in, and the people who produce it. A third of the world’s population are already facing water shortages, a figure expected to rise to two-thirds by 2025. In developing countries at least 3 million people are poisoned and 20,000 killed each year from pesticide incidents, a large proportion through cotton cultivation. Action must be taken.

What’s the solution?
For the last two years, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) has been working with organisations from across the cotton supply chain to facilitate a solution. It’s called ‘Better Cotton’. We all need to make cotton that is better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future.

Work in Pakistan with farmers, IKEA and WWF between 2005 and 2007 delivered results showing reductions in pesticide use, water use, and increases in net profit for farmers by 69.5%