This year Better Cotton’s annual conference will focus on ‘Accelerating Impact’, uniting four themes: putting people first, driving change at the field level, understanding policy and industry trends, and reporting on data and traceability.

Sessions will explore the sector’s most compelling issues and developments, including regenerative agriculture, decent work responsibilities across the supply train, traceability and sustainability legislation.

Antonie Fountain, managing director at Voice Network, will host the conference, which will include keynote speeches from three continents and various disciplines.

The two-day event will reportedly bring together more than 200 representatives from across the cotton sector, including UK retailer Marks & Spencer, to share insights.

The event will provide ample opportunity to network, including a dinner event and the Better Cotton Member Awards, which will be take place on a cruise along the Bosphorus on 26 June, offering a chance to enjoy Istanbul’s sights and rich history.

Conference programme

Better Cotton Farmers from Türkiye, India, Mozambique, Pakistan, Tajikistan and the US will feature throughout the programme, connecting stakeholders directly with cotton farming communities.

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The ‘putting people first’ theme will cover the social side of cotton farming, promoting sustainable livelihoods and ensuring decent work. Discussions will explore farmer remuneration and the role of producer organisations in supporting this mission.

‘Driving change at field level’ will cover topics such as women’s empowerment, farmer financing mechanisms, regenerative agriculture and cross-commodity collaboration. A timely discussion on carbon markets will kick off the theme, debating their pros and cons in accommodating millions of smallholder cotton farmers.

On day two of the conference, the focus will shift to ‘understanding policy and industry trends,’ examining the evolving legislative landscape impacting the fashion and textile sectors. Panels will discuss how stakeholders can prepare for emerging regulations and how performance claims can support sustainability goals.

The event’s final theme, ‘reporting on data and rraceability’, will highlight the crucial role of data in driving improvements at the field level and within cotton supply chains.

Better Cotton will also share insights into its 2023 India Impact Report and provide the latest information on traceability.

In April 2024, Better Cotton shared news that it is being funded by the African Export-Import Bank to scale sustainable cotton production in West and Central Africa.