Cotton Made in Africa (CMiA)
is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) that helps people
help themselves through trade, improving the social, economic and
ecological living conditions of smallholder cotton farmers and their
families in Sub-Saharan Africa. Through training programs, Cotton made
in Africa teaches the cotton farmers about modern, efficient, and
environmentally friendly cultivation methods that help them improve the
quality of their cotton, yield higher crops, and thus earn a better
Sub-Saharan Africa is the fifth largest cotton exporter worldwide.
Cotton is grown there by about 3.4 million smallholder farmers. A total
of more than 20 million people in the region are directly or indirectly
living from cotton. Cotton
thus plays a key role in fighting poverty and makes a major contribution
to food security in many countries of sub-Saharan Africa. So far,
African smallholder farmers have not been fully able to use this
potential to improve their economic living conditions, as they are faced
with many challenges such as fluctuating world market prices, low
productivity, and poor infrastructure.
Against this background, the Cotton made in Africa initiative has set
itself the goal since 2005 to sustainably improve the living conditions
of cotton farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
African smallholders learn about efficient and environmentally friendly
cultivation methods through agricultural training provided by their
experts. At the same time, they establish an international alliance of
textile companies which purchase the Cotton made in Africa raw material
and pay a licensing fee to use the seal. The proceeds from licensing
fees, in following with the workings of a social business, are
reinvested in the project regions of Sub-Saharan Africa.
In order to successfully implement our objectives, the interactive
relationship between private companies in the textile industry and
cotton trade on the one hand and public sponsors on the other hand,
forms the basis of their work. Within the framework of the Competitive
African Cotton Initiative (COMPACI) the Deutsche Investitions- und
Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) and the German International Cooperation
(GIZ) are close cooperation partners. The Competitive African Cotton
Initiative (COMPACI) was founded in 2005 by the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation (BMGF) and the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and
Development (BMZ) due to the success of the pilot phase of Cotton made
in Africa. It is responsible for financing contracts with the African
partners as well as for imparting technical know-how. In addition,
non-governmental organizations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature
(WWF) and the Welthungerhilfe (Welthungerhilfe) were involved in the
development of standards criteria from the outset.
Cotton made in Africa
is the first to offer a sustainable raw material for the mass market.
The Supply Chain Management division supports Cotton made in Africa's
corporate partners in integrating sustainable cotton into the downstream
production units worldwide. The partners can thus achieve their business
sustainability goals without compromising on a value chain that is both
pragmatic and optimized for cost and time.
In the Cotton made in Africa system, partners have a choice as to the
level of transparency that should be established in the value chain.
This involves the use of two different systems that offer different
product statements and communication opportunities as well as product
awards and presentations.
They make a distinction between the Hard Identity Preserved (HIP) and
Mass Balance (Mass Balance MB) variants for further processing of
cotton. Both systems guarantee full traceability from cultivation to the
cotton gin right through to the spinning mill. After these phases, the
difference in the two systems is noticeable, and the degree of
transparency changes accordingly. You can learn more about the
Chain of Custody Guidelines at
Learn more about Cotton Made in Africa at http://www.cottonmadeinafrica.org/
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