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SAN FRANCISCO - Levi Strauss has reportedly left the board of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in a difference of opinion over the organisation's stance on concerns over the use of forced labour in the Xinjiang region of China.

The BCI last year pulled out of the region - which meets a fifth of global cotton demand - over forced labour fears but has recently appeared to shy away from commenting on the issue amidst a backlash from Beijing.

Levi's sustainability director Jeff Hogue has now left the board of the BCI a year ahead of schedule, according to the Wall Street Journal, although the company remains a member of what is billed as the world's biggest cotton sustainability initiative.

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