The demand for sustainable cotton in the Textile and Ready-to-Wear Sectors, which has an annual economic size of $60 billion and earns Turkey more than $25 billion every year, is increasing day by day in line with consumer preferences.
The Better Cotton Practices Association (IPUD), which serves to expand sustainable cotton production in Turkey and to provide common benefits for the relevant parties, has been continuing its activities for the development of the Better Cotton Standard in Turkey since 2013.
Leon Picon, President of the Better Cotton Practices Association, stated that they are the institution responsible for the execution of the Better Cotton Standard in Turkey. In addition to this responsibility, he stated that they carried out projects and collaborations on various issues in different regions in order to remove the obstacles to environmental, economic and social sustainability in cotton production.
Picon said, “As IPUD, we started a project cooperation with the European Investment and Development Bank (EBRD) this year as well.”
Underlining that they aim to strengthen and disseminate the practices carried out within the scope of the Better Cotton Standard in Turkey within the framework of the EBRD and IPUD cooperation, Picon continued his words as follows; “Within the scope of the project, we will carry out the activities targeting the farmers who produce in the 2021 cotton production season, the application partners who take important roles in this process, their agricultural engineers and the ginning enterprises that process the Better Cotton under six main headings. Pilot studies will be carried out on four lands, based on the results of soil analysis, on fertilization, planting trap plants and reducing pesticide use, monitoring soil moisture and optimizing the amount of irrigation, and correct application of auxiliary chemicals in harvest. Pilots will be supported by innovative and smart farming methods such as the climate station and early warning system to be established. Technical training materials on sustainable cotton production will be prepared for farmers in the Better Cotton system, and agricultural engineers who support farmers in technical matters will be trained on sustainable cotton production. Local Better Cotton implementation partners will be technically assisted in mapping natural resources (water, soil, biodiversity) and designing a continuous improvement plan. Better Cotton ginning enterprises will be trained on fiber quality, occupational health and safety, traceability, process management, and one-on-one technical support and consultancy will be provided to a total of ten ginning enterprises. It will be accompanied by an information technology research on digital solutions for data collection and mapping in the field.”
BETTER COTTON IS A MUST
IPUD Chairman Leon Picon stated that the production of Better Cotton in Turkey in the 2020-21 cotton season is approximately 10% of the total production. “With this project, which covers every stage of the Better Cotton Standard, we aim to further deepen and expand our practices in the field. The demands of suppliers for Better Cotton in textile and apparel exports are increasing day by day. The European Union aims to zero its carbon emissions by 2050 within the framework of the Green Deal. As of 2022, carbon tax will be on the agenda for export products. We also need to prepare ourselves for this process.”
Stating that the cooperation with the European Investment and Development Bank (EBRD) will also contribute to the sustainable production of the Turkish cotton, textile and apparel industries, Picon said, “The purchasing preferences of the brands are in favor of cotton produced in sustainable standards. We continue our efforts to expand sustainable cotton production in our country, both because of its environmental, economic and social contribution and in order to reduce the foreign dependency of the Turkish industrialists.”
Source: Sabah / Translated by Irem Yildiz