Cotton is the most important crop in the world textile industry, yet the estimated 100 million rural households who produce it are living in poverty.
Farmers and Fairtrade are working together so cotton growers can improve both their livelihoods and their lives.
A cotton farmer’s small area of land has to provide enough income for food, healthcare, school fees, seeds and tools. Any fall in cotton prices can have serious implications for a farmer and their family, especially as farmers have little power to negotiate with buyers to secure better prices. Often farmers must hand over their crop for less than it cost to produce it. Cotton farmers face additional challenges: climate change, intensive use of dangerous chemicals, and scarce water supplies.
The price of cotton has slumped in the last 30 years, while the cost of producing the crop has risen. A long-term decline in income means that farmers in Asia, West Africa and elsewhere are struggling to survive.
Where can I buy Fairtrade cotton?