2010 TextileExchange Farm & Fiber Report publishedPosted: January 15, 2011
TextileExchange (the former OrganicExchange) recently published its 2010 farm & fibre report. Unfortunately facts and figures on organic cotton are not for free, but the report costs $400 (why do governments not sponsor this?!). Hence, I can only give you insight into the executive summary.
Here as some figures from p. 13 of the report:
- 241.697 metric tonnes fibre produced in 2009-10. This amounts to an increase of 15% to the 2008-09.
- Organic cotton now adds up to 1.1% of global cotton production (year before: 0.9%).
- There are 275.000 organic cotton farmers, who use 461.000 ha of land (in average: each of the 40 farmers in the US uses 130 ha, while each of the 236.000 farmers in South Asia uses 1.6 ha)
- 81% of worldwide organic cotton (195.000 metric tonnes) was produced in India. (From other sources I heard that 90% of cotton in India is GMO)
- Second largest organic fibre producer is: Syria (!) – 20.000 mt, Turkey (11.600 mt), China (4.300 mt) and only then USA (2.800 mt) – a ranking of cotton producers looks very different
Some challenges for the future of organic cotton listed on p. 24:
- Africa: support of GM cotton in Burkina Faso, lacking political support for organic in Uganda
- China: big investment made in GM, lack of incentives for organic
- EMENA (Central Europe, Mid-East, Aral Sea area): competitive prices from developing countries (particularly felt by EU & Turkey); higher labour costs
- SE Asia: access to non-GMO seed critical; massive growth causes potential problems with integrity in process and certification, climate change
- Latin America: climate change
- USA: costs of production (labour), subsidies do not incentivise organic production
Here is a figure from the report (p. 23), indicating how the top 10 producers have changed over the time: