Raw Materials


Aid by Trade Foundation and Better Cotton form a new strategic collaboration for 2023

© 2022 Cotton made in Africa
After 10 years of fruitful partnership, Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) and Better Cotton are establishing a new form of collaboration for greater impact. The new set-up between the two organisations will be focused on creating joint projects for smallholder farmers in Africa. These projects will likely address areas of common interest such as climate change adaptation and mitigation, soil fertility, biodiversity, women’s empowerment, and child labour. They will seek funding from both public and private donors to support the work.

In 2012, Cotton made in Africa (CmiA), an initiative of the AbTF, and Better Cotton entered into a strategic partnership agreement based on the successful benchmarking of the two standards which enabled CmiA verified cotton companies to sell their CmiA verified cotton as Better Cotton and allowed textile companies and traders to demand the sustainably produced Cotton made in Africa cotton as Better Cotton. Since the initial agreement, both organisations have grown and evolved significantly. Therefore, AbTF and Better Cotton have decided to end their current agreement and enter into a new form of cooperation that allows for more flexibility and innovation. Together, they recognise that they can make the biggest impact through concrete projects that create lasting benefits for people and the environment. In line with this, the sale of CmiA-verified cotton as Better Cotton will be discontinued at the end of 2022.

AbTF and Better Cotton remain united in their shared goal of making cotton cultivation more sustainable for farming communities and the environment, while providing the global textile sector opportunities to integrate an ecologically, economically and socially sound raw material into their sourcing practices.

Tina Stridde, managing director of AbTF, draws a positive conclusion: “The partnership was a joint effort that brought greater sustainability to the cotton and textile industry whilst helping to protect nature and create economic and social benefits for smallholder farmers and ginnery workers. We appreciate the open exchange of views, ideas and issues of special interest with Better Cotton; it is obvious that both organisations have common goals. CmiA has grown strong over the last years. We are looking forward to continuing to pursue our endeavors for sustainable cotton production in a new form.”

Lena Staafgard, chief operating officer at Better Cotton, adds: “The initial partnership between Better Cotton and AbTF represented a groundbreaking collaboration between standards organisations at the time. Together, we have supported more than a million smallholder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa and connected them to the ever-increasing demand for more sustainable cotton. Now is the time to re-imagine how we can use our individual strengths to create even more impact together. We look forward to this new form of collaboration moving forward.”

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