With the publication of its annual report for 2016, Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) demonstrates the growing momentum the sustainable cotton movement continues to gain around the world. According to the report, the cotton sustainability initiative achieved record revenue figures for its cotton production in 2016, with a 47 percent increase over 2015, reaching €1,484,546.
Approximately 30 textile companies use CmiA cotton, including Bonprix, OTTO, the Rewe Group, Tchibo, ASOS and Jack & Jones. As the largest label for sustainable cotton from Africa, CmiA certified 30 percent of cotton production in sub-Sarahan Africa and 50 million textiles marked with the CmiA label were brought to market in 2016 — driving license revenues by 70 percent year-on-year. The share of public financial aid in 2016 also fell to its lowest level of one percent.
“Every T-shirt and every pair of jeans with the CmiA seal contributes towards combating poverty and thereby counteracting the causes of migration,” said Dr. Michael Otto, Founder of Cotton made in Africa.
A total of 20 verification operations ensured compliance with the CmiA standard in 2016 and offered recommendations for improvements, alongside continual training. Aggregated data from these operations remarks that the implementation of CmiA standards was significantly improved in subsequent verifications, according to three independent auditors: EcoCert, AfriCert and Control Union.
As part of the Aid by Trade Foundation family of standards, around 780,000 smallholder farmers, of which 18 percent are female smallholder farmers, took part in 2016 and produced 320,000 tons of fiber cotton. In 2016, CmiA covered a cultivation area of over 1.1 million hectares and has become the biggest standard for sustainable cotton from Africa. Including family members, CmiA reached more than 6.7 million people.
Above its standard implementation, Cotton made in Africa supports projects by village communities and provides financing. Among the projects are solar power projects for farmer training centers and as well as projects focusing on water and empowering women. The total volume invested in cooperation projects came to €950,000 Euros in 2016. The projects are implemented in close alliance with local cotton companies, partners such as CARE, Welthungerhilfe, OTTO, C&A, Otto Austria, and the Deutschen Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (German Investment and Development Corporation) with funds from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).