Joelcio Carvalho, Project Officer at the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger Brazil, taught a masterclass focused on how the Beyond Cotton project is helping end hunger by increasing certified cotton production and empowering smallholder farmers. The masterclass is part of a series produced by The Sustainable Fashion Collective, a London-based community of designers, brands and entrepreneurs dedicated to ethical and responsible practices.
The current masterclass series, which launched on 1st March, has as its theme “Regenerative Fashion Practices to end Hunger” and addresses Sustainable Development Goal #2, which aims to eradicate hunger by 2030. According to the Sustainable Fashion Collective, over the years, fashion designers and businesses are becoming more aware of the connection between global food sources and textile production and regenerative agriculture has been a topic of discussion in major fashion forums.
In his presentation, Joelcio Carvalho shared an overview of WFP’s work across the globe and the work carried out by the Centre of Excellence in Brasília. He then presented the Beyond Cotton Project, a South-South trilateral cooperation project created by the WFP Centre of Excellence, the Brazilian Cotton Institute (IBA) and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC). The main aim of the project is to increase production, local income and food and nutritional security for smallholder farmers in Mozambique, Benin, Tanzania and Kenya.
“We aim to develop the cotton sector based in best cases and experiences found in Brazil, supporting and creating capacity in the participant countries and also using cotton as a key tool to support food security and local development”, explained Joelcio Carvalho. He also pointed out that cotton and food crops are intrinsically linked, but many farmers do not grow cotton because they do not have the same trading conditions. “It is vital that we increase dialogue about how the fashion industry can make informed decisions that will help us to ultimately eradicate hunger”, he said.