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The cotton sustainability programme Better Cotton has organised its first in-person ‘Innovations Marketplace’ annual symposium since the pandemic, gathering 130 representatives from across six countries.

‘Innovations Marketplace’ brings together Better Cotton’s Programme Partners in Phuket, Thailand, from 6 to 8 February 2023. These Partners are organisations that work with Better Cotton to reach millions of farmers, workers and their communities to improve cotton growing practices globally.

This year’s symposium centers around the theme of climate change. It also addresses the cotton sector’s future impacts to ensure more sustainable livelihoods.

The event also provides a forum to discuss innovative tools, practices and the latest updates on the Better Cotton Standard System. This was revised in 2021 in line with Better Cotton’s 2030 Strategy.

The full agenda topics being covered in the conference include:

• Climate action and capacity building
• Better Cotton’s Approach to Climate Change
• Farm-level mitigation and adaptation practices – Technical expert and Partner contributions
• Launch of the Online Resource Centre (ORC)
• Climate change and links to data and traceability
• A training cascade workshop – focusing on a follow-up to the farmer centricity and Field Facilitator / Producer Unit (PU) Manager surveys
• Livelihoods – Better Cotton’s Approach, partner activities and discussions on future plans
• Climate and livelihood innovations
• Innovations marketplace

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Better Cotton’s members, including the farmers they work with, can engage in cross-sector dialogue with local partners in Thailand and international agricultural, commodities, textile and supply chain stakeholders.

Better Cotton COO, Lena Staafgard, said, “We’re hugely excited that the meeting is returning to a face-to-face format after two years of remote events. We are looking forward to the fantastic opportunities for networking and idea sharing to support farmer livelihoods that this will bring.”

In 2022, Better Cotton hosted the ‘Cotton + Climate Action’ conference in Malmö, Sweden. This event also brought together fashion brands, textile manufacturers, retailers, businesses, farmers and speakers under the shared cause of sustainability in the cotton sector.