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cotone biologico riciclato

Organic cotton production

Organic agriculture protects the health of people and the planet by reducing overall exposure to toxic chemicals from synthetic pesticides that can end up in the ground, air, water and food supply, and that are associated with numerous health consequences, from asthma to cancer. Because organic agriculture doesn’t use toxic and persistent pesticides, choosing organic products is an easy way to help protect you, your family and the farming communities that are growing cotton.






Organic cotton production: sustainable and ethical

Organic cotton is grown according to strict procedures and regulations, to maintain high quality standards.

Organic production does not use toxic and persistent pesticides, which would inevitably end up in the yarn once spun, but manages pests, insects and weeds differently from conventional cotton production.

Organic and traditional cotton crops

Instead of syntethic pesticedes and fertilizers, organic farming methods use natural fertilizers, such as compost and animal manure, which recycle the nitrogen already in the soil rather than adding more. This reduces both pollution and N2O emissions. Such methods also sequester and reduce carbon emissions.

Organic farmers in the U.S. do have restricted access to 25 synthetic active pest control products (over 900 are registered for use in conventional farming). These materials must be on the USDA National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.


Organic cotton production: key numbers

2016/17 was an exciting year for the organic cotton community. As well as seeing promising developments from organic cotton initiatives across the globe, we also saw a ten percent growth in global fiber production, which reached 117,525 MT.

This growth stems for the most part from China, fuelled by growing demand both from the organic dairy industry and the domestic textile sector. Other countries that contributed significantly to the global growth include Tanzania, Uganda, Benin, Turkey, and the USA.

Another noteworthy trend this year is the substantial area of cotton-growing land in transition to organic, which totaled 213,566 ha, suggesting strong growth over the next few years. To put this figure into perspective, it is equivalent to over 50 percent of the current certified land area. 

cotone organico mappa provenienza




Fiber production by country

Over 80 percent of this in-conversion land is in India, with the remainder stemming predominantly from Pakistan, China, Tanzania, and Turkey. 

Even if organic cotton production represents approximately only the 0,46% of global cotton production (2016/2017), 213,566 hectares of cotton-growing land were in transition to organic in 2016/17, almost 50 percent of the current certified land area. This indicates strong growth over the next few years as this land reaches certification. The vast majority of in-transition land is in India, with the remainder stemming predominantly from Pakistan, China, Tanzania, and Turkey.

The vast majority of in-transition lands are located in India, followed by Pakistan, China, Tanzania and Turkey. The three main markets for organic cotton products are the United States with a turnover of about 44 billion dollars, followed by Germany (11) and France (8).

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