The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) have signed a new long-term agreement aimed at boosting sustainable cotton production in developing regions.

The two organisations said that Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) would continue to be sold as Better Cotton to BCI members, following a “thorough” benchmarking process between CmiA and the Better Cotton Standards.

Resources from the joint effort would then be invested in improving the livelihoods of African smallholder farmers, they added.

The initiative has several goals, including the increased sale of sustainable African cotton, the improvement of living conditions for farmers and their families, and the resolution of issues such as child labour, integrated pest management and system optimisation between supply and demand.

“Thanks to the close collaboration between Aid by Trade Foundation and BCI, participating smallholder farmers benefit through better market access and assistance, and the textile industry benefits through better availability of sustainably produced cotton,” said Chrisoph Kaut, AbTF managing director.

The agreement extends an interim partnership which has been in existence since July 2012.