To make it as easy as possible for companies around the world buy and learn more about organic cotton, the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) have launched a new web-based tool.
 
The new 'International Organic Cotton Directory' at http://www.organiccottondirectory.net is a first fully indexed, international directory that provides information about dangers of pesticides in conventionally grown cotton, production and certification of organic cotton, and contact information for more than 250 farmers, companies and organisations working around the globe to grow the organic cotton market.

The Internet has become key for sales of organic cotton products. According to the OTA's Fiber Council, many companies use the Internet as their primary outlet for sales.
 
"This is a great networking tool for everyone interested in organic cotton - from consumers looking for organic cotton products to companies looking to source fibre, yarns and fabrics. It's also an excellent example of positive, productive collaboration between environmental organisations and the apparel industry working to make this planet safer for our families and future generations," said Margaret Reeves, staff scientist at PAN North America and coordinator of the Directory project.
 
According to research by PAN UK, leading countries in organic cotton production include Turkey (41%), the US (34%), Africa 13% (mostly Uganda, followed by Tanzania, Senegal and Egypt), India (8%), and Latin America 4% (mostly Peru). In the US, OTA data shows that organic cotton is grown in six states including Texas, New Mexico and California, Arizona, Missouri and Kansas.
 
The International Organic Cotton Directory can be used free of charge on the Internet and was made possible by grants from the Wallace Genetic Foundation, US EPA Region IX, and financial support from individual donors to the Pesticide Action Network.
 
Pesticide Action Network is an international coalition of over 600 organizations in more than 60 countries working to promote culturally sustainable and ecologically sound pest management in place of pesticides.