• Announcement
29. September 2022

An article by Vanessa Berghoff

Our colleagues from India was also at the Bremen Cotton Week and gave a presentation on what processing of sustainable cotton can look like - a good moment to present our project once again.

Increasing sustainability along the cotton supply chain from shelf to field

The cotton supply chain from shelf to field is often highly complex and fragmented. In India, about 6 million farmers are planting and harvesting the cotton that is used for shirts or bedsheets available in our shops. The project “Sustainability and Value Added in Agricultural Supply Chains” in India works to increase the value addition from sustainable cotton production and to strengthen domestic supply chains for processing sustainable cotton.

In collaboration with internationally recognised brands and organisations, the project promotes the implementation of sustainability standards such as Better Cotton Standards, Fairtrade Standards and Organic Standards. So far, around 240,000 smallholder farmers in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh are supported for sustainable cotton production.

Besides working directly with farmers in the field, the project works in the processing stages of cotton. After harvest, the cotton fibres are separated from the seeds (ginning) and subsequently transformed into yarn (spinning). Ginning and spinning are hotspots of the supply chain when it comes to working conditions and safety in the mills. In collaborating with renowned German universities including the International Centre of Sustainable Textiles (ITA) of RWTH Aachen, ITA Augsburg and University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein, new techniques for sustainable cotton ginning and the technological potential of Indian spinning mills are identified. This strengthens the interface between Indian ginning companies and the subsequent production stages along the textile supply chain. Besides technological, economic and occupational safety aspects are explored.

A technological view on Indian cotton ginning at the Bremen Cotton Conference 2022 

During the recent International Cotton Conference Bremen, specialists from around the world working along the textile supply chain came together. Under the motto “Cotton Decoded”, cotton research and key issues surrounding production, quality, processing, innovative products and the supply chain were discussed.  

Representing the collaboration between GIZ India and ITA of RWTH Aachen, Justin Kuehn (Research Associate ITA) and Vanessa Berghoff (Junior Advisor GIZ India) presented a technological view on India about the potentials of saw versus roller ginning.

The final report about ginning of sustainable cotton as well as manuals on occupational safety and health in ginning will be published soon on the INA Website.

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