The world’s largest cotton certifier Better Cotton and the Cotton Egypt Association (CEA), responsible for promoting and protecting Egyptian cotton worldwide, have announced a new strategic partnership to expand the Better Cotton programme in Egypt and enhance the sustainability and quality of Egyptian cotton production while ensuring fair working conditions for farmers.
“Egypt’s cotton is globally renowned, and our renewed strategic partnership with the Cotton Egypt Association will allow us to build on our work to make cotton farming in the country a more climate resilient, environmentally friendly and responsible activity. We look forward to working with CEA to help Egyptian cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment,” commented Better Cotton CEO Alan McClay in a press release.
The Better Cotton programme was first launched in Egypt in 2020 by the Egyptian Cotton Project and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). It is funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).
While Egyptian cotton is known for its quality, softness and durability, challenges such as climate change, water scarcity and fluctuating market demands have posed significant threats to the sustainability of Egyptian cotton farming in recent years.
Partnership to further compliance with environmental and social standards
Through this renewed strategic partnership, Better Cotton and the CEA will work on expanding the implementation of sustainable farming techniques, provide further training and support to farmers, and ensure compliance with rigorous environmental and social standards.
The partnership will also support Egyptian cotton farmers in reducing water consumption, decreasing chemical pesticide usage and improving soil health, ultimately leading to more sustainable and resilient cotton production and fair returns.
It will also enable CEA’s access to Better Cotton’s extensive network of industry stakeholders, including brands, retailers and textile mills committed to sourcing sustainable cotton and facilitate increased market access for Egyptian cotton products.
“We are excited about this strategic partnership with Better Cotton in Egypt. By combining our expertise and resources, we can drive positive change in Egyptian cotton farming practices and secure a sustainable future for our industry. This collaboration aligns perfectly with our vision to globally authenticate the legacy of Egyptian cotton,” said CEA’s executive director Khaled Schuman.
Though Egypt is not among cotton-producing heavyweights like China, India, USA and Brazil but more in the steady midfield with countries like Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Spain, Egyptian cotton is known for its quality and high level of purity. It is hand picked, which puts less stress on the fibres compared to mechanical picking, leaving them intact and straight.