India is the largest grower of Fairtrade certified cotton. It is significant to note that general cotton production is associated with a concerning number of environmental issues. These include the immeasurable use of agrochemicals which implicate our health and that of the planet; the immoderate use of water which implicates fresh water supplies for local populations; as well as the weather unpredictability which threatens the livelihoods of small-scale farmers. Fairtrade works alongside these farmers to adapt and reduce their environmental footprint. A large percentage of Fairtrade Cotton is certified organic, which in turn, gives more integrity to cotton farmers and empowers them to protect the natural environment. India is able to comparatively reduce its water footprint since Fairtrade Cotton fields there are rain-fed.
Fairtrade Cotton farmers are able to take advantage of the Fairtrade Minimum Price, which is the minimum that producers are paid when selling through Fairtrade - this acts as a safety net when market prices drop. Also the Fairtrade Premium, an extra sum paid on top of the selling price, is used by farmers to collectively invest in projects that will enhance their farming practices and/or the well-being of their communities. In turn, the Fairtrade Standards are in place to ensure the fairer terms of trade between farmers and buyers. Essentially, these standards provide a framework to help farmers thrive.
Fairtrade is more than just a label. It's a movement that was created to give farmers fair pricing and premiums, so they can continue producing quality products without worrying about their costs being too high. Helping farmers in developing countries by paying them a fair price for their crops, and offering premium benefits to the consumer, is what Fairtrade does. Cotton production has been on the rise because of this movement which encourages sustainable practices among growers, whilst providing consumers with quality products at reasonable prices.
Our promise to meet the highest standards of global Fairtrade ensures that not only will our customers receive healthier, higher quality products that are free of harmful dyes and chemicals, but they will also be making a difference in the lives of the makers, from farm to mill to loom to finished product.
Fairtrade gives the promise of sustainability year after year. Be a part of that movement. It's your turn now!