CmiA Doubles Cotton Output, European Chains Make Beeline for Africa

Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) has once again achieved record levels of supply and demand. New and existing clients are seeking to purchase greater amounts of cotton verified through CmiA and CmiA Organic. A total of 600 million CmiA textiles were brought to market, more than doubling Cotton made in Africa’s volume from the previous year.

Long Story, Cut Short
  • A total of 600 million CmiA textiles were brought to the market in the last year, more than doubling CmiA’s volume from the previous year.
  • The production of CmiA-verified cotton also grew by 10% to 690,000 tonnes. Now, 40% of all cotton produced in Africa is verified by CmiA.
  • The three foremost purchasers of CmiA cotton are the Lidl Group, Otto Group and Ernsting’s family.
Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) is an internationally recognised seal for sustainably produced cotton from Africa. The CmiA initiative was established by the Hamburg-based Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) in 2005. AbTF is working to realise its goals through CmiA, which is one of the world’s leading standards for sustainable cotton.
Growth Unabated Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) is an internationally recognised seal for sustainably produced cotton from Africa. The CmiA initiative was established by the Hamburg-based Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) in 2005. AbTF is working to realise its goals through CmiA, which is one of the world’s leading standards for sustainable cotton. Cotton made in Africa

The clouds of gloom hanging over the world cotton market has found a silver lining: Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) has achieved record levels of supply and demand. A total of 600 million CmiA textiles were brought to the market in the last year, more than doubling CmiA’s volume from the previous year. The number of licensed retail and brand partners has risen by around 30% in the past four years and now encompasses some of the world’s biggest retail and fashion chains, including Bestseller, Lidl, LPP, and the Otto Group.

The production of CmiA-verified cotton also grew by 10% to 690,000 tonnes. Now, 40% of all cotton produced in Africa is verified by CmiA. The three foremost purchasers of CmiA cotton are the Lidl Group, Otto Group, and Ernsting’s Family.

The highlights

  • Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) is an internationally recognised seal for sustainably produced cotton from Africa. The CmiA initiative was established by the Hamburg-based Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) in 2005.
  • CmiA works with small-scale farmers in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria as well as in Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania. With new partners in Togo and Ghana, the initiative’s network will expand to eleven Sub-Saharan partner countries as of 2022.
  • In 2021, the network of registered partners grew to encompass 240 spinning mills throughout the world, making it larger than ever.
  • CmiA follows a licensing model that requires all textile companies to pay licensing fees for CmiA-verified cotton to the initiative, which reinvests the proceeds in cotton-growing regions in Africa.
  • Some of these funds go towards regular certifications that are conducted at the field and ginnery levels by external auditors to monitor compliance with social, economic, and environmental sustainability criteria.
  • External monitoring ensures that exclusion criteria—like prohibitions on irrigation, child labour, genetically modified seeds, and certain pesticides as defined in international conventions—are met and that progress is made on improvement criteria that target issues including soil fertility and gender equality.
  • Licensing revenue also supports agricultural and business training for smallscale farmers.
  • The AbTF is increasingly investing in measures for adapting to climate change and for reducing the impact of cotton growing and ginning on the climate.
  • A carbon-neutral approach to cultivating CmiA cotton is being promoted in co-operation with Atmosfair (an independent German non-profit organisation which offers offsets for greenhouse gases emitted by aircraft, cruise ships, long-distance coaches and events); in another partnership project, around €2.8 million are being invested in sustainable soil management.

What they said

This year’s record levels of supply and demand for Cotton made in Africa underline how widely accepted sustainable raw materials have become in international value chains. Textile companies worldwide as well as cotton companies in all of Sub-Saharan Africa have joined our initiative as reliable and strong partners for small-scale farmers. Together, we have been able to ensure that CmiA and CmiA Organic cotton enjoy worldwide demand and are processed in over 50 textile production markets. By harnessing market forces, we are able to prepare small-scale farmers for the growing challenges of climate change and to build up their resilience through innovative and efficient farming methods.

Tina Stridde
Managing Director
Aid by Trade Foundation

We are proud to be one of the major purchasers of CmiA. In keeping with our international CSR strategy, which prioritises fair trade and resource efficiency, we aim to procure the cotton for our textile product range more sustainably by the end of 2022. CmiA-verified cotton will play a key role in achieving the goal we have set for ourselves. By using CmiA-verified cotton, we support local farmers in Africa and promote environmentally friendly agriculture.

Alexander David
Head, International Purchasing Division
Lidl Stiftung & Co

 
 
  • Dated posted: May 26, 2022
  • Last modified: May 26, 2022