Cotton Australia has signed a landmark agreement with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) on behalf of Australia’s cotton industry. The agreement transfers BCI certification to Australian cotton produced under myBMP certification.
Cotton Australia had previously joined the Better Cotton Initiative as a member organisation, but this agreement represents the first time Australian myBMP-certified cotton can be sold into the global market under the BCI banner.
BCI is an international not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the responsible and sustainable production of cotton globally.
myBMP is the Australian cotton industry’s best management practice certification system. Cotton growers can participate at varying levels of practice recognition with certification within the myBMP system requiring independent auditing - it recognises that the cotton-growing enterprise has met all best management practice requirements and is operating at the pinnacle of cotton-growing practice.
Cotton Australia CEO, Adam Kay, says the agreement would be welcomed by Australian cotton growers and the wider industry.
“This agreement recognises Australia’s leading role in the production and promotion of responsibly grown cotton,” Mr Kay says.
“Access to future growth markets is of tremendous importance to Australian cotton growers, particularly as they contend with competition from synthetic fibres.”
“Within the global natural fibre market, demand for responsibly grown cotton is growing, and this agreement allows Australian cotton growers to participate more easily in that expanding market.”
“I am confident this agreement and its promise of enhanced market access will encourage more Australian growers to achieve full myBMP certification.”
Patrick Laine, CEO of the Better Cotton Initiative, says: “Australian producers have made remarkable progress, far beyond legal compliance, in growing cotton for the benefit of people and planet.”
“BCI is delighted to recognise myBMP as providing a credible, verified framework for documenting this continuous improvement. myBMP farmers are leading by example.”
myBMP Manager Jim Wark Mr Kay says Cotton Australia has been working towards the agreement with BCI for the past year
“There are many similarities between the myBMP system and BCI’s systems, so harmonising the two was reasonably straightforward,” Mr Wark says.
“Australian cotton growers will appreciate the ability to use one system to produce cotton under both the myBMP and BCI banners.”
Cotton Australia will manage the ongoing relationship with BCI on behalf of the Australian cotton industry, and will also work to ensure the myBMP system remains harmonised with any future changes to BCI systems.