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Best Practices voor een duurzame toekomst
22 maart 2008

Organic Exchange opens European office in Amsterdam

According to the company, its European office means that Organic Exchange “can offer a more complete portfolio and be more responsive and proactive with apparel brands, retailers and suppliers in growing the market.” Carla Kivits of ICCO adds: “The European market for organic cotton is growing rapidly. The European office connects Organic Exchange closer to this market.”

Kivits describes Organic Exchange as a “broker in the organic cotton production chain: it brings together organic farmers, retailers and brands. Organic Exchange offers farmers a better cotton price and a sales guarantee and makes agreements about crop rotation, which is vital to organic cotton farming. This is part of Organic Exchange’s so-called Farmers Development Programme in Africa, Asia and Latin America, which is also co-financed by ICCO.”

Organic Exchange is a non-profit business organization dedicated to facilitating the growth of a global organic cotton industry. Members of Organic Exchange, including Marks and Spencer, Nike, Otto Versand, Patagonia, Woolworths, Timberland, C&A, H&M and Levi’s, have decided to integrate organic cotton into their product offerings.

Organic Exchange’s long-term goal is to grow the amount of certified organic land farmed for fiber production by 50 percent per year. To support these efforts, Organic Exchange brings together brands and retailers with their business partners, farmers and key stakeholders to learn about the social and environmental benefits of organic agriculture, and to develop new business models and tools that support greater use of organic inputs. In addition, Organic Exchange raises consumer awareness about the value of organic farming and the availability of products containing organic cotton.

The two most important organic cotton producing countries are India and Turkey, with respective market shares of 43 and 32 percent. Smaller producing countries are China, Uganda and Peru. On a world wide scale, sales of organic cotton are growing by 35 percent per year. The world-wide return grew explosively from 245 million dollar in 2001 to 1.9 billion dollar in 2007, half of it in Europe.

P+ webtip: Organic Exchange