Better Cotton to spotlight how traceability can support sustainable cotton at world trade organization event

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Better Cotton

Better Cotton, the world’s largest cotton sustainability initiative, will this week participate in a panel discussion at the World Trade Organization’s Public Forum focusing on the topic of traceability within fashion and textile supply chains.

The session, titled: ‘Traceability as the Key Enabler for Improving the Sustainability of Cotton Value Chains’ will take place 15 September at the Centre William Rappard, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Jacky Broomhead, Senior Traceability Manager at Better Cotton, will moderate the discussion and will be joined by a panel including Maria Teresa Pisani, Officer-in-Charge of the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) Trade Facilitation Section; Gregory Sampson, Solutions Architect at the International Trade Centre (ITC); Jeremy Thimm, Organic Production Specialist at the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS); and Josh Taylor, Traceability Manager at Better Cotton.

Traceability will be discussed in the context of how it could benefit fashion and textile supply chains facing tightening due diligence legislation, in addition to investor pressure and changing consumer expectations around sustainability.

After two years of development, Better Cotton will this year launch its own traceability solution, capable of providing supply chain visibility for industry stakeholders. With this, cotton will be fed through new Chain of Custody models that monitor the flow of product throughout the value chain.

By logging transactions between stakeholders, fashion retailers and brands that purchase Better Cotton through its traceability solution will have oversight of their cotton’s country of origin, in addition to the proportion of Better Cotton in their products.

Traceability will connect farmers to the supply chain and form the foundation for an Impact Marketplace Better Cotton is developing, through which farmers would be rewarded for their transition to more sustainable farming.

The panel discussion will explore the opportunity traceability holds to drive more sustainable cotton supply chains, the importance of alignment when scaling such solutions, and the need for accessible and inclusive approaches.

Jacky Broomhead, Senior Traceability Manager at Better Cotton, commented: “This week’s Public Forum is a great opportunity to have an open discussion on the benefits and ramifications of supply chain traceability. Progress requiring the adoption of new technologies can run the risk of favoring large and developed organizations. We’re keen to collaborate with our peers to ensure these developments are scalable and inclusive for the benefit of the entire textile industry.”

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