Organic Exchange: 152% more organic cotton grown
October 9, 2008,
Lubbock, Texas – The amount of organic cotton grown by farmers worldwide in 2007/08 increased 152% over the prior-year period, according to Organic Exchange.
The reported production volume has risen to 145,872 metric tons, or 668,581 bales, said Organic Exchange (OE), an organization focused on expanding organic agriculture.
Production reported in 2006/07 was 57,932 metric tons, or 265,517 bales.
OE said that 2006/07 global sales of organic cotton were more than $1 billion.
The data is included in the Organic Cotton Farm and Fiber Report 2008, which will be formally presented at the Organic Exchange 6th Global Conference and Marketplace in Porto, Portugal, Oct. 14-17.
The report was underwritten by C&A, ICCO, Martin-Fabert Foundation, Nordstrom, the ComMark Foundation, and Organic Exchange member companies.
John Elkington, an author on sustainable development and corporate responsibility, will deliver the keynote at the Conference, which will feature a tour of the Teviz Group mill in Guimarães, Portugal, one of the first mills in the world to be certified to the new Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS).
OE has a bullish outlook.
“Farmers and retailers are starting to work hand in hand to drive the conversion to and expansion of the organic cotton market,” said LaRhea Pepper, OE executive director.
Simon Ferrigno, OE Farm Development Program director and lead author of the report, noted that, “With forward contracts, price security, and increased research and education, the amount of organic cotton production will continue to increase rapidly.”
The top 10 organic cotton producing nations, in order, for the 2007/08 cotton year were: India, Syria, Turkey, China, Tanzania, the United States, Uganda, Peru, Egypt and Burkina Faso, the report stated, with India taking over Turkey’s longstanding lead position.
Organic cotton production has grown to an estimated 0.55% of global cotton production, said OE, which defines organic production as “based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers or genetically- modified seeds.”
OE’s 7th Organic Exchange Global Conference and Marketplace will take place in Seattle in October 2009.