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Use of Cotton Made in Africa up a sizable 71pc this year

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-09-02 16:00:00 – Africa

Cotton Made in Africa (CmiA) is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) that helps African smallholder cotton farmers in Africa to improve their living conditions works with 67 spinning mills, ginned 700,000 tons of cotton for use textile production. This year use of cotton up a sizable 71 percent over last year’s 408, 415 tons. Roughly 30.5 million textiles went to market with the CmiA seal.

CmiA published its interactive annual report discussing progresses and profits for 2015 on Tuesday stated that this year more people are using cotton that helps support African smallholder farmers than last year.

As of 2015, the company has trained over 750,000 smallholders, a 57 percent increase over last year’s 476,450. The training ensures both an increase in yield and income, establishing a solid foundation for the future of the individual smallholders’ and their careers.

Despite its sustainable label, CmiA said that because of the demand alliance it has built, textile companies can buy Cotton Made in Africa at going global market prices.

And despite challenging conditions in the European markets, characterized by high price sensitivity among companies and even lower awareness of sustainable textiles among consumers, CmiA held its ground well on the international stage.

This year, CmiA added ASOS and Danish Bestseller group, to the list of those using the cotton, and both are using the cotton and processing it in Africa.

CmiA also expanded on its cotton tracking system, where now partner companies, spinning mills, and other stakeholders in the sector can enter their order information and other relevant data directly into the system. By doing this, it simplifies the workload and increased the level of transparency. Making the system even more user-friendly, customers can also receive information directly from the system about the movements of their CmiA products.

Customers in the textile production sector also expect much greater transparency from their suppliers and therefore the possibility of traceability, PwC auditor Hendrik Fink said. This does, of course, have something to do with reputation, but more and more companies have also set themselves the target of systematically minimizing risks in their supply chain.

The U.K.’s Bonprix, which has already been using Cotton Made in Africa, set itself a goal of producing textiles with only sustainable raw materials by 2020, a large portion of which will be CmiA.

Head of corporate responsibility and quality services for Bonprix, Stefanie Sumfleth, said that with CmiA’s help, they are significantly reducing their harmful ecological impact, in particular with regard to emissions and water consumption in cotton cultivation.

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. 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 income.

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