India, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania and Turkey have led organic cotton production during the last season, according to a Textile Exchange report.
Organic cotton continues to gain prominence. The production of this sustainable raw material has raised shot up 56% in the 2017-2018 campaign, compared to the previous season, according to the 2019 Organic Cotton Market Report, by the non-profit organization Textile Exchange.
The report reveals that the increase in organic cotton production has reached eight-year-high in the past eight years. In total, 180,971 metric tons were produced in the last campaign, the largest volume since the beginning of the economic crisis.
India, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania and Turkey have led organic cotton production during the last season, according to the report. In addition, these regions are expected to continue to lead production over the next few years, as they have several cotton growing crops in transition to organic production.
About 180,971 metric tons of cotton were produced in 2018
In fact, although cotton is grown organically in nineteen countries around the world, 98% of production comes from just seven markets. Specifically, 47% comes from India, 21% from China, 12% from Kyrgyzstan, 6% from Turkey, 5% from Tajikistan, 3% from the United States and 3% from Tanzania.
Organic cotton currently accounts for only 0.7% of total cotton production worldwide. However, this raw material is booming. About 356,876 hectares of organic cotton were planted in 2018, in addition to the 44,394 hectares in transition to organic. In total, 182,876 farmers cultivate this matter, according to the report.
At the same time, in the last year, the number of certified facilities with organic standards has also increased. In 2018, the plants that have the Global Organic Textile Standard and Textile Exchange’s Organic Content Standard certification, have grown by 15% and 16%, respectively.
Although organic cotton is grown in nineteen countries, 98% comes from seven markets
However, farmers’ access to cotton seed that has not been genetically modified continues to be an obstacle, especially in countries such as China and India, where the other type of cotton is dominant.
In this sense, Textile Exchange makes an alert call. “Organic cotton, along with other organic fibers based on land, should be part of the future,” says Liesl Truscott, director of European strategy and materials for the organization.
“Organic cotton production is the spearhead that has driven change within the sector, establishes a travel direction for all of us, starting with regenerative soil practices,” explained La Rhea Pepper, managing director of Textile Exchange.