A fair-trade and organic cotton industry is going to be established in Western and Central Africa. The Association of African Cotton Producers (AProCA) is directing this project to diversify the offering in African cotton. The French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) is providing a subsidy of 4.7 million euros. The purpose of the project is to give cotton producers in Western and Central Africa an opportunity to reap the benefits of fair trade and organic farming and to capitalize on the leverage they offer for the entire sector in terms of promoting African cotton in the global marketplace. During the course of the five-year project, 55,000 tons of fair-trade cotton fibre and 8,600 tons of organic fair-trade cotton fibre will be marketed.
This initiative will be led by AProCA in partnership with Helvetas, which will act as associate project manager for the organic cotton part, with Max Havelaar France and Dagris acting as associate project manager for the fair-trade cotton part. This project capitalises the outcomes of a previous project funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Dagris. The project’s main themes were determined and formulated in the FARM “fair-trade and organic fair-trade cotton” task force, which includes :
economic players : TDV Industries Laval, Hacot-Colombier, Dagris,
institutional players : the development division of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French Development Agency, the Regional Council of Brittany and the CIRAD (Agricultural Research for Developing Countries),
NGOs : Helvetas, Max Havelaar.
The feasibility study (pdf, 630ko) was conducted by a team of experts from Dagris, Helvetas and FLO-PBU (Fairtrade Labelling Organisations). International experts for the project were funded by the French Development Agency and the FARM Foundation funded the contributions from the AProCA and consultations with representatives of cotton producers from the different countries.