Our attention to outfits′ back ground such as producers and places is increasing these days.
Organic cotton market faces contamination issue. One of the reasons which cause contamination is comingling of conventional seed to organic seed, and conventional cotton to organic cotton in processes.
Another issue is that conventional cotton is sold in the market as organic cotton by mistake.
Pre Organic Cotton Program will clarify tractability from seed to the final products. Monitoring in POC makes sure that cotton and the seed is 100% organic, and clarifies producers and factories involved in production.
It is said that half the amount of agrochemical is applied to cotton, which is merely 5% of entire farm land in India. The situation causes considerable risk to cotton producers′ health, economy, and farming environment. ″How can we contribute to reduction of agrochemical in cotton farming as people who wear cotton products every day?″ It led us to initiate Pre Organic Cotton Program.
Continuous purchase of organic cotton in transit will reduce farmers′ financial risks during the transit period. We can say that the POC program has ability to motivate farmers to start organic farming. Your choice of organic cotton will make a difference for farmers to shift to organic farming.
Despite tangible financial and health benefits, many farmers have not been able to transit from conventional to organic farming, and organic accounts for less than 1% of total cotton farming land in India today. POC addresses key challenges to get rid of barriers for transitioning to organic and support the long-term growth of organic cotton farming.
Many farmers/producer groups are reluctant to transition to organic farming because they fear the expected yield decrease. By converting to organic farming, some farmers experience up to ~20% decrease in crop yields. Yet very few know that in fact by transitioning to organic farming they are financially better off as input cost savings are enough to offset the yield decrease and farmers are able to avoid risk of becoming deeply indebted.
In POC Program, education on organic farming is provided to farmers by local producer groups. By converting to organic farming, farmers are able to reduce input costs by up to 50% compared to genetically modified seed or GMO cotton, as chemical inputs are prohibited in organic farming.
After transitioning to organic farming, farmers can expect net income that is equivalent to when growing conventional cotton and have less financial risk due to less production cost and need for loan.
Many producers lack access to resources necessary for organic cotton farming - many do not have knowledge on organic farming methods; certification process requires significant fees which many farmers cannot afford; lack of availability of non-GMO seeds are becoming an increasingly serious issue in India.
Local producer organization will provide all the resources necessary for farmers to transition from conventional to organic farming.
According to industry research large amounts of organically produced cotton has been sold as conventional in the past couple of years due to producers′ lack of access to organic cotton buyers or lack of long-term commitment from buyers. Moreover, with the increased MSP (minimum support price) for conventional cotton, the amount of premium paid for organic cotton has declined and incentive for organic farming has been diminishing.
The POC program intends to continue to work with producer organizations after their completion of the POC program to ensure long-term sustainable organic farming businesses. We match our partner producers directly with organic cotton demand from global brands and retailers and provide direct access to buyers.
Organic cotton businesses are facing various challenges due to supply chain complexity and lack of integrity. POC strives to address key challenges and support successful global organic cotton businesses in the long-term.
Despite growing demand for organic cotton from consumers and global brands, organic cotton production growth has been slowing down in recent years and supply is not keeping up with demand. Such potential supply shortage impose a risk on global organic cotton apparel and retail businesses.
The POC program facilitates coordination along the supply chain to secure sustainable supply of organic cotton for our partner buyers. We aggregate demand from brands and retailers and directly match them with producer groups. On behalf of buyers we coordinate upstream players of the supply chain to strategically plan and produce organic cotton that meet long-term sourcing needs. This includes encouraging and supporting cotton-in-transition to grow supply in the long-term.
The industry has faced various trust issues associated with organic cotton where contamination by conventional cotton occurred throughout the supply chain. There has been incidents of seed contamination, mixture in ginning processes, and conventional cotton sold in global markets as organic. Today, traceability is one of the biggest challenges for buyers seeking responsible sourcing and brand credibility.
The POC program physically tracks all our cotton-in-transition and organic cotton products from seed level to final garment. We monitor to track and ensure that our seed and cotton products are 100% organic without any interference from conventional cotton following organic standard. With our quality control, we eliminate contamination risks at all stages of the supply chain.
POC connects organic cotton producers in India with brands and retailers around the world. We will continue to expand our regional partnerships in India as we grow our supply capacity and customer base. With Itochu Textile Company′s global network and supply chain management expertise, the POC program is able to serve and meet the needs of brands and retailers of all regions.