Lahore - APTMA and Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) Patrick Charles Laine have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to implement joint and synergetic activities to mainstream sustainability in cotton production in Pakistan.

Chairman APTMA Punjab Seth Muhammad Akbar and Vice Chairman APTMA Wisal Monnoo besides the members were also present on the occasion. APTMA will be the Program Promoting Agency within Pakistan to promote the programme as far as possible in line with the BCI Strategic Plan for Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman APTMA S M Tanveer said the APTMA has been associated with the WWF since the beginning of BCI program in Pakistan for the need and ultimate benefit in terms of sustainability covering resource conservation, environment protection and welfare of the people involved in production, processing and consumption of cotton. He said production of better cotton in Pakistan has increased to 293000 metric tons in 2014 from 163000 metric tons in 2013. This is a clear indication that the supply and demand of BCI cotton is rapidly on the rise, he added. He said the MoU would supplement the efforts for mainstreaming production and consumption of BCI cotton in Pakistan. This initiative would largely help achieving sustainability targets and increase the market access for textile products from Pakistan, he added.

The BCI is meant for making global cotton production better for the people who produce it for the environment it grows in and better for the textile sector’s future. The production principles included crop protection, conservation of water, soil and habitat care besides the fibre quality and decent work. It may be noted that the global brands and retailers including Levi’s, Nike, Ikea, Marks & Spencer, Adidas and H&M have set targets of 100% procurement of clothes prepared by better cotton by 2015 to 2020. While many other brands including Sainsbury’s, Lindex, Inditex, Bestseller, MQ, George, Walmart, Hemtex, Migros and Vf are on the way to make BCI conditional for future purchases.

Chairman APTMA has urged all the stakeholders in the textile industry value chain to expedite work for reaching 100% production and consumption of better cotton. He said the APTMA would seek funds from the EDF to achieve the targets set under the MoU.