The Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) Cotton Conference will bring together global experts, researchers, and professionals to delve into the current challenges facing sustainable cotton and textile production.

The Aid by Trade conference is said to cater to stakeholders at every stage of the cotton and textile production chain. Through panel discussions, presentations, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities with industry leaders, participants will gain insights into the “future of cotton.”

What to expect on day one of the cotton conference:

The first day of the conference will feature discussions on regenerative agriculture, climate change adaptation, and the latest innovations in cotton cultivation.

The Aid by Trade Foundation plans to unveil the new Regenerative Cotton Standard (RCS). Dr. Keshav Kranthi, from the International Cotton Advisory Council (ICAC), will shed light on the role of cotton in regenerative agriculture.

Dr. Adam Cobb of The Soil Food Web School will delve into the connection between soil health and sustainable cotton cultivation.

Alais Ole Morindat, representing the African NGO African People and Wildlife (APW) plans to showcase the importance of local community involvement and Stefan Scherer of Geocledian plans to share insights on satellite-supported remote sensing.

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A walk-and-talk event will present innovations like T-MAPP by PAN UK, an app designed for sensitive and confidential information collection about pesticide poisoning incidents. Both the Aid by Trade Foundation and African People and Wildlife will present “simple yet effective” methods to train small-scale farmers in scientific practices.

What to expect on day two:

The second day will revolve around the theme of transparent and traceable supply chains. Sessions will address the growing legal requirements in global textile production and explore the future possibilities of tracing textiles through artificial intelligence.

Swedish furniture company Ikea will speak on the significance of transparency for global corporations, and Arindama Banerjee of business consulting firm Elevate will guide attendees through the legal intricacies of global textile production.

Torsten Stau from retail company REWE Group will show how a Hard Identity Preserved (HIP) system can trace Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) across the textile value chain.

Technology companies such as Textile Genesis and Direction Software LLP will also demonstrate digital tools to ensure transparency and traceability in the supply chain.

In November AbTF unveiled an initiative called the Regenerative Cotton Standard (RCS) that was said to prioritise the interests and knowledge of small-scale farmers actively involved in the cotton production process.