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Published on Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Cotton sector responds to Ethiopia exposé

Written by John Mowbray

Copyright Jane Baldwin

WAKEFIELD – Ecotextile News has had a varied response from the identity cotton sector and its various stakeholders following our suggestion that, in the wake of recent Ethiopia revelations, it is time for 'land-use criteria' to be considered when sourcing organic cotton. We also received comments from organisations involved directly in the organic cotton sector – although rather surprisingly, we did have to chase these up.

Responding to our story, Textile Exchange (TE) initially told us it is in alignment with the IFOAM standard which includes prohibition on land-use abuses. However, Liesl Truscott European & farm engagement director with TE has confirmed to us today that this is not yet 'an official position' for Textile Exchange. Notably, a senior industry figure from the organic sector told Ecotextile News that, "Of 505 certifiers [in organic] only 25 are accredited to IFOAM," which, in itself, is clearly a concern.