|India is a South Asian country with a population of 1,4 billion. Fairtrade commodities originating there include coffee, tea, cotton, sugar and rice.
|Some three quarters of cotton is produced in five countries – China, India, the US, Brazil and Pakistan.
Smallholder farmers are estimated to produce over 70% of the world’s cotton. It is estimated that overall, cotton is produced by some 32 million farmers.
|Cotton farming is a first step in a long, complex and risky supply chain, where most of the profits are kept by international companies and brands.
Smallholder cotton farming is labour-intensive and farmers typically do not earn a living income. For this reason it can use bad practices such as child labour, overuse of pesticides and dependency on high-interest credit sources.
|The cotton plant is vulnerable to shifting rainfalls and extreme heat waves. Changing weather patterns – including dry spells, delayed monsoons and floods – are already affecting cotton farmers in South Asia and in several other production areas.
In future, climate change can devastate both cotton crops and the farmers who grow them.
|Why is Fairtrade important?
|Fairtrade works with the small-scale cotton farmers in Asia and Africa and helps build stronger farmer-owned organisations. This is important because farmers can achieve a lot more together as a group in negotiations.
Fairtrade encourages sustainable cotton production and is the only standard to provide economic benefits, through a guaranteed Fairtrade Minimum Price and additional Fairtrade Premium for seed cotton farmers.
|Where to buy Fairtrade bananas
|Arthur & Henry, Cotton Smiles, Dedicated, Dip & Doze, Koolskools, Little Green Radicals, Sainsbury’s, Sleep Organic, Turtle Bags, White & Greem, White Stuff, Y.O.U Underwear