From Field to Fanshop
The initiative for sustainable agricultural supply chains has been represented in India since 2022 with the "From Field to Fanshop" project, among others. The project was launched on April 6th 2022, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.
Together, we support small Indian farmers from a cotton co-operative in Gujarat in converting to organic cotton. We offer purchase guarantees as well as training in sustainable cultivation practices and access to improved seeds. Children and young people from neighbouring communities take part in sports training, giving them valuable life skills and educational opportunities.
Smallholder families benefit from the switch to organic cotton farming
India is one of the largest cotton producers in the world. 45 million people in the country make their main living from growing and processing cotton. However, the excessive use of pesticides has a negative impact on soil and water quality. And for many of these smallholders, the income from cotton is barely enough to survive. At the same time, the demand for sustainable textile products, especially those produced organically, is increasing worldwide. Nevertheless, certified organic cotton currently only accounts for around one per cent of global cotton production. One reason for this is the long conversion phase from conventional to organic cotton. During this time, producers cannot sell the cotton as organic cotton and do not receive the organic premium. For low-income smallholder farmers and their families, the conversion means a high economic risk. This is precisely where "From Field to Fanshop" comes in.
Throughout the conversion phase, farmers receive support such as training in sustainable farming methods and access to improved seeds. Even during the transition phase to organic cotton, the smallholder farms produce around two tonnes of raw cotton per hectare. BRANDS Fashion produces fan merchandise from this and the participating football clubs undertake to purchase these items during the conversion phase. Thanks to high-quality and responsible production, small farmers should benefit from higher incomes in the long term and the environment should be protected.
Fair play: sports programmes for disadvantaged children and young people in Gujarat
At the same time, "From Field to Fanshop" offers sports training. This enables children and young people from the neighbouring cotton farming communities to learn life skills. A total of 1000 children from five schools take part in the sports programmes. This goes far beyond access to sports programmes: children and young people gain greater self-esteem, knowledge about environmental protection and resource conservation as well as insights into sustainability issues. Girls and young women in particular should develop a positive physical self-concept, which will boost their self-confidence. Trainers remain important contact persons and confidants for the children and young people and also work together with their parents. The project's work also has an impact in the school system, where both teachers and the participating children and young people as well as their parents become multipliers for topics such as sustainability, education, health, gender equality and peaceful coexistence.
The sports programmes are offered in cooperation with the Indian non-governmental organisation Youth for Change and are advised and managed by the two GIZ projects "Sport for Development" and "Sustainability and Value Creation in Agricultural Supply Chains".
"From Field to Fanshop" aims to offer sustainably produced fan merchandise in Germany so that fans can support not only their club, but also good living conditions and climate and environmental protection. It is being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
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