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November 25th, 2014

New CmiA-Organic Standard Creates Market Access and Social Added Value for African Organic Cotton Farmers – Aid by Trade Foundation to Launch CmiA-Organic Cotton on the Market for the First Time

The Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) is the largest cotton initiative in Africa and is committed to integrating cotton originating from Africa into the textile industry with increasing success. The foundation is now also dedicated to promoting organic cotton production in Africa as well as its competitiveness on international markets. After successful verification of the Tanzanian cotton company BioSustain, organic cotton according to the CmiA Organic Standard is now available on the market.

“The new CmiA Organic Standard will benefit both the more than 9,000 successfully verified cotton farmers in Tanzania as well as textile companies worldwide as we are also working on market access for CmiA Organic cotton according to the market-oriented CmiA principles,” explains Tina Stridde, Managing Director of the foundation, during the official announcement of the news at this year’s Textile Exchange conference in Portland, USA.

Cotton is one of the main sources of income in the poorest regions of rural Africa. Against this backdrop, the Aid by Trade Foundation is intensifying its commitment to a more sustainable production both for people and nature with its current Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) Standard. As an extension to the portfolio, it now also offers CmiA Organic cotton. The new standard combines the existing Eco Standard EC No. 834/2007 and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) with the social and economic criteria of Cotton made in Africa. By expanding the existing organic cotton standards to social and economic criteria from the CmiA standard, the foundation creates more than just ecological added value with Cotton made in Africa-Organic in additional regions of Africa. Through its economic and social components it ensures higher yields, a fair income for the farmers, measures towards the advancement of women, and investments in school infrastructure, for example. This significantly contributes to reducing poverty and ensuring food security for organic cotton farmers in Africa. It also increases the competitiveness of organic cotton originating from African thanks to its marketable approach.

The CmiA-Organic standard was developed on the initiative of AbTF in close cooperation with independent experts for standard development, organic cotton farmers, local actors, and Textile Exchange.

About Cotton made in Africa
Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) that provides assistance in helping people help themselves through trade, to improve the living conditions of cotton farmers and their families in Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, smallholder farmers in Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire participate in the CmiA program. CmiA teaches the cotton farmers through training programs about modern, efficient, and environmentally friendly cultivation methods that will help them improve the quality of their cotton, yield higher crops, and thus earn a better income.







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