Joelcio Carvalho, Project Officer at the WFP Centre of Excellence Against Hunger Brazil, took part in the Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT) regional meeting, organised by Textile Exchange. OCRT is a global stakeholder platform that supports and brings together the organic cotton community to be inspired, mobilized, and equipped to act. Each year, Textile Exchange holds a Global OCRT Summit alongside Textile Exchange’s annual Textile Sustainability Conference, in addition to Regional OCRTs held throughout the year.
In his participation, Joelcio Carvalho spoke about the Beyond Cotton project, which is a partnership between the WFP Centre of Excellence, the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), and the Brazilian Cotton Institute (IBA). Through this project, the Centre of Excellence has a commitment to participate in dialogue, debate, and promote channels to develop these actions in Africa. “To advance the organic cotton discussion, it is necessary to also discuss how to enable outlets for the intercropped food production, mainly as a way to value the food that is also cultivated with certification, so it can be sold with this comparative advantage”, says Joelcio Carvalho.
He also recalls that some of the potential channels to sell this food production intercropped with cotton are public procurement programmes, such as school feeding and food acquisition programmes. The certification also offers the possibility of tracking, which allows other Latin American and African countries to discuss how tracking may favour a higher acceptance of organic foods produced by intercropping.
The Latin America and Caribbean regional round table was co-hosted by Textile Exchange, EMBRAPA, and FAO. The meeting brought together organic cotton producer groups, international organisations and specialists to share their experiences and best practices and highlight challenges and opportunities for the organic cotton industry in the region.
Other participants included representatives from the Diaconia NGO and EMBRAPA Cotton, which are WFP CoE partners, as well as actors from the Brazilian production chain, representatives from research, commercialisation and innovation fields, and representatives from the Justa Trama project.