According to a new report released by the Lubbock, Texas-based Textile Exchange — a nonprofit
organization, formerly known as the Organic Exchange, that facilitates expansion of the global
organic cotton and sustainable fiber marketplace — global organic cotton production steadily
increased in 2009-2010.
The “Organic Cotton Farm and Fiber Report” details organic cotton growth in 2009-10 that
totaled 241,276 metric tons grown on 461,000 hectares — a 15-percent increase compared to the
209,950 metric tons grown in 2008-09. Only 37,000 metric tons were grown in 2005-06, so organic
cotton production has expanded 539 percent over the past five years.
During the 2009-10 growing season, 274,000 farmers in 23 countries grew organic cotton. The
report reveals India, Syria and Turkey as the leading organic cotton producers worldwide. India
produced 80 percent of all organic cotton in the most recent growing year and increased its total
output by 37 percent compared to the previous year. Other countries involved in producing organic
cotton include China, the United States, Tanzania, Uganda, Peru and Egypt, among other countries.
Tajikistan entered into organic cotton farming in the 2009-10 growing season.
The report notes that all of the organic cotton grown in 2008-09 has been bought as well as
most of the stock from the current growing year. According to Textile Exchange, some $4.3 billion
worth of organic cotton and home textiles products were sold globally in 2009.
“Manufacturers, retailers and consumers, and most importantly, farmers, all signaled their
continued interest in supporting organic cotton production and the risks that came with it despite
the recession,” said LaRhea Pepper, senior director, Textile Exchange.
“As organic cotton grows in volume, we must continue to strengthen integrity in production,
certification and processing,” said Liesl Truscott, farm engagement director, Textile Exchange, and
lead author of the “Organic Cotton Farm and Fiber Report.” “Brands interested in nailing down their
supply need to build organic cotton supply security into their planning strategies now, preferably
by implementing forward contracts.”
January 21, 2011