Solution by: Itochu and kurkku
Transition Program to Organic Cotton Farming
SOCIAL Organic farming results in less chemicals and healthier lives for farmers and animals in India.
THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE
ENVIRONMENTAL Cotton occupies just 5% of all farmland in India, and yet accounts for nearly half the country’s agrochemical use. 2 A transition to organic cotton helps prevent environmental damage and conserves ecosystems.
ECONOMIC According to the company, kurkku’s total sales increased by 500% between 2008 and 2012 as a result of the POC Program.
“By supporting farmers’ transition to organic cotton, POC makes a positive impact on the environment, farmers’ health and living standards, and cotton buyers’ sustainable businesses.”
The Pre-Organic Cotton (POC) program supports Indian farmers’ transition from conventional cotton to organic cotton farming, creating commercial success for stakeholders in the supply chain and positive environmental impact. The POC program is run by two Japanese companies, Itochu and kurkku, and works directly with Indian farmers to support organic cotton production. The transition to organic production involves a 2 to 3 year certification period, which is a barrier to farmers because yields usually decline by 20% to 30% while prices are unchanged until certification is achieved. To overcome this barrier, the POC program proactively purchases the not-yet-certified cotton at a higher price than farmers could obtain on the free market for conventional, uncertified cotton. The POC also supports the transition process for farmers by providing them with non-GMO seeds and training. The program builds and secures supply of organic cotton for partner buyers and ensures traceability and supply chain efficiency. WHY A SUSTAINIA100 SOLUTION? Even though global demand for organic cotton is growing, and despite tangible financial and health benefits of organic cotton farming, organic cotton accounts for less than 1% of total global cotton production.1 The POC program addresses the transition difficulties farmers face and aims to enable 8,500 farmers in India to make the transition to organic cotton production by the end of 2016.
KEISUKE ERA DIRECTOR, KURKKU
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1 International Cotton Advisory Committee. “Report on Some Specialty Cottons: Organic, Fair Trade, and Cotton Made in Africa.” Report. 2010. 2
UNDP. “Farmers in India to benefit from Japanese organic cotton business partnership.” Aug 2012. Online: www.undp.org
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