Sustainable Cotton Hub: Alarming 2023 Ranking Report
Currently, smallholder cotton farmers, who make up the majority of the world’s cotton producers, live on the edge of poverty and do not receive a fair income/wage. The report further underpins the effect besides social harm. With no access to training and no support for adaptation to climate change likely to reduce or destroy yields across every cotton-growing region, smallholder farmers will not be able to ensure reliable production and will be pushed even further into poverty.
"Nearly half of smallholder cotton farmers are poisoned by pesticides every year. Zero pesticide poisoning is possible today if textile & apparel companies choose to take responsibility for their supply chains and deepen investment in supporting a transition to agroecological cotton production" adds Rajan Bhopal, International Project Manager Supply Chains at PAN UK.
“In reality, given the resources available to big brands, unsustainable cotton is a choice. A bad one. But it doesn’t have to be one we live with. Brands and retailers can make new decisions. They can choose to be more transparent in their operations and about their suppliers. They can choose to take on the complex question of fair pay, rather than using it as an excuse. And they can choose to engage with all actors along their supply chain, rather than hiding behind intermediaries,” says Tamar Hoek of Solidaridad Europe.