Sustainable Cotton in Subsaharan Africa Jumped 30 Percent in 2016


Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) reported positive results for the past commercial year: As the largest label for sustainable cotton from Africa, CmiA certified 30 percent of cotton production in sub-Saharan Africa. Growing demand for CmiA cotton in the textile industry meant that around 50 million CmiA textiles were put to the market in 2016. Thereby, the sustainable cotton initiative increased its license revenues by 70 percent in comparison to 2015.

A growing demand alliance for CmiA cotton
About 30 textile companies including bonprix, OTTO, the Rewe Group or Tchibo use CmiA cotton. Since 2016 Jack & Jones from Denmark, Asos from Great Britain, Kid Interior from Norway and Aldi Süd have joined. In addition, 50 million textiles were marked with the CmiA label in 2016. License revenues for the CmiA label increased by 70 percent in comparison to the previous year, reaching 1,484,546 Euros. Dr. Michael Otto, the founder of Cotton made in Africa, emphasizes: "Every T-shirt and every pair of jeans with the CmiA seal contributes towards combating poverty and thereby counteracting the causes of migration."

Thanks to the boost in sales of CmiA certified cotton in the textile production countries, CmiA could achieve a consolidated revenue of plus 47 percent in 2016. The share of public financial aid in 2016 reached the lowest level of 1 percent. The result substantiates the motto of the sponsoring organization - Aid by Trade. Based on its goals, the foundation was able to increase the effectiveness of its contributed funds by a further percentage point in comparison to the previous year, reaching 72 percent.
Successful project implementation in the cotton growing countries

A total of 20 verification operations in 2016 ensured compliance with the CmiA standards and offered helpful guidelines for improvements, alongside the continual trainings. The aggregated data from verification operations in 2016 proves that the implementation of CmiA standards was significantly improved in subsequent verifications. The reviews were carried out by the three independent audit companies, EcoCert, AfriCert and Control Union.

As part of the AbTF family of standards, around 780,000 smallholder farmers, of which 18 percent are female smallholder farmers, took part in 2016 and produced 320,000 tons of fiber cotton. This means that CmiA certifies 30 percent of cotton production in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2016, CmiA covered a cultivation area of over 1.1 million hectares and has become the biggest standard for sustainable cotton from Africa. Bob Akede, Lead Auditor from AfriCert in Kenya, highlights: "CmiA has now achieved immense importance in the producing countries." Including family members, CmiA reached more than 6.7 million people.

Above its standard implementation, Cotton made in Africa supports projects by village communities and provides financing. Among the projects are solar power projects for farmer training centers, water or women's projects. The total volume invested in cooperation projects that have been active 2016 came to 950,000 Euros. The projects are implemented in close alliance with local cotton companies, partners such as CARE, Welthungerhilfe, OTTO, C&A, Otto Austria, and the Deutschen Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (German Investment and Development Corporation) with funds by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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