The WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger presented its Beyond Cotton project at the Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference in Milan. The event aimed at creating a more sustainable and responsible textile fibre and materials industry, including the cotton chain.
This year’s edition had 800 attendees and 145 speakers from 43 countries. Participants represented brands, retailers and companies from across the textile industry, and shared with each other their views for the future of textile production. The WFP Centre presented the Beyond Cotton project as an alternative to boost sustainable, certified cotton production and, at the same time, increase food and nutrition security for smallholder farmers and their communities.
The Beyond Cotton project is an initiative of the WFP Centre of Excellence and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency in partnership with the Brazilian Cotton Institute. It encompasses a view of the whole cotton farming system, linking regenerative agriculture, nutrition, poverty reduction and local development.
The project is supporting cotton producers and public institutions in four African countries to commercialize cotton by-products such as oil and associated crops, such as corn, sorghum, and beans.
Good practices identified in Brazil and other countries will be an inspiration for Benin, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania to develop their own solutions for the commercialization of smallholder farmers’ produce.
The event happened from 22 to 24 October and was organized by the Textile Exchange, a global non-profit that works to drive industry transformation in preferred fibres, integrity and standards and responsible supply networks.