Sustainability” has become a conundrum for primary commodity industries: something everyone demands but no one knows quite how to define or what it means in practical terms.
The ICAC Expert Panel on Social, Environmental and Economic Performance of Cotton Production (SEEP) is delivering a report at the 72nd
Plenary Meeting of the ICAC based on the indicators of sustainability contained in the major responsibility systems used in cotton today, ranging from organic and Fair Trade to the MyBMP program in Australia.
The SEEP report is technically focused and includes an empirically driven set of recommendations for a core set of indicators defining a minimum standard for sustainable cotton production. The premise of the report is that an industry-wide effort to measure sustainability of cotton farming will require agreement on what are the key issues to be addressed, what are the best measures to assess progress, and who are the stakeholders to undertake the responsibility for doing so.
Since the choice of indicators and the measures used for assessment will affect the structure, conduct and performance of the cotton industry in the decades ahead, producers and all stakeholders in the cotton value chain have a vital interest in ensuring that “sustainable” cotton production is defined both ambitiously and pragmatically based on an inclusive process of consultation and extensive dialogue.
Two World Café Sessions in Cartagena will be devoted to facilitating the start of just such an inclusive process, and all those with an interest in how “sustainable” cotton production is defined are encouraged to come to Cartagena for the 72nd
ICAC Plenary Meeting.
Register at https://www.icac.org/mtgs/Plenary/72nd-Plenary/Details (Press releases are available via e-mail. To register for this free service, send your contact information to <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
The Secretariat of the Committee publishes information related to world cotton production, supply, demand and prices, and provides technical information on cotton production technology. Detailed statistics are found bimonthly in COTTON: Review of the World Situation, $185 per year via email, $225 per year in hard copy. A monthly outlook is available by email for $295 per year. Access to the latest weekly estimates of world cotton supply and use by the Secretariat is available on the Internet for $460 per year. Access Secretariat reports at <www.icac.org>.