Organic Cotton Accelerator

Accelerating change towards a prosperous organic cotton sector

Our client

The Organic Cotton Accelerator is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on creating a prosperous organic cotton sector which benefits everyone—from farmer to consumer.

Tough challenge

Organic cotton can bring significant environmental and social value, but at present it does not make (business) sense to produce or buy organic cotton raw materials and garments. Farmers are withdrawing from organic cotton production because it is not currently profitable, while retailers worry about the integrity of their organic raw material, and are switching to other sustainable alternatives. Instead of reaping the benefits of organic cotton production, the outlook for the sector is a cause for concern.

Shared opportunity

NewForesight has convened key sector stakeholders around a shared mission and pre-competitive strategy that is bringing structural change. With targeted interventions that have the potential to be scaled up, we are improving the business case for all value chain actors, and driving a sector-wide collaborative partnership that will accelerate the transition towards an organic cotton sector that benefits not just our clients, but the whole supply chain.

Convening the Sector (takes place in 2017)

To tackle the tough sustainability problems in the cotton sector, collaboration is key. A unified and aligned organic cotton sector can move mountains; a fragmented one will come to a standstill on the road to sustainability. By bringing together all influential players in the cotton sector, we are leveraging the buying power, resources, knowledge, and shared desire to transform the sector in order to build the momentum for structural change.






United States, Europe, India, Bangladesh, Turkey.

OCA Prototyping Phase (2016-2017)

Before we can scale-up, we need proof of concept. Through OCA, we are piloting interventions in different supply chains to provide us with the insights needed to refine and improve the strategy. The commitment and dedication of OCA partner brands truly enables structural change. We have designed a sound Monitoring & Evaluation system to capture all necessary data for our interventions. In 2017, the pilots and data capturing will take place in India – the largest cotton producing country.

OCA Development Phase (took place in 2015)

Crucial to an impactful strategy is an insightful analysis. In our analysis, we found that the business cases of value chain players in the cotton sector are insecure under current circumstances. The farmer neither has access to quality organic cotton seeds, nor the finance needed to invest in it. In addition, farmers do not always find a buyer for their produce at the time of sale. The retailer, on the other hand, is unsure of the integrity of the organic cotton garments being purchased. Initiatives to change this in the sector are fragmented and lack punching power. As a result, we delivered a sustainability strategy that formulated a clear route to a better business case for all. To move towards implementation, we set-up and are currently the Secretariat of the organization that is managing this process.

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