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Organic Cotton: New Organic Exchange Report

Organic cotton weathered the global economic storm during the 2008/09 farming season, albeit with challenges, according to a new report by Organic Exchange, documenting growth and challenges in the global organic fiber sector.

OE Organic Cotton Farm and Fiber Report 2009


Production grew an impressive 20 perct over 2007/08 to 175'113 metric tons grown on 253'000 hectares. Organic cotton now represents 0.76 percent of global cotton production. According to the fourth annual Organic Exchange Farm and Fiber Report 2009, organic cotton was grown in 22 countries worldwide with the Top Ten producer countries being led by India, and including (in order of rank) Turkey, Syria, Tanzania, China, United States, Uganda, Peru, Egypt and Burkina Faso. Approximately 220'000 farmers grew the fiber.

Despite major market players sticking to their commitments to use organic cotton in their apparel and home textile products, there simply wasn’t the market for products (organic or conventional) in general, given the global economic downturn. In addition, a number of farmers had planted vast acreage of organic cotton on speculation and in response to what had appeared to be a healthy, burgeoning marketplace. As a result, unsold stocks which represent between 17 and 22 percent of production (some 30'000 to 35'000 tons of organic cotton has yet to find buyers.

According to the report, global retail sales of organic cotton and home textile products topped 3.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2008. The report not only provides data on land under organic cotton, quantities, and yields of organic cotton produced, but also detailed analysis of the challenges and barriers to this successful industry, examples of how the sector is responding, and a special overview of three major production regions: India, Latin America and Africa. In addition, it provides an in-depth overview of the conventional cotton market.

For the 2010 edition of The World of Organic Agriculture the organic cotton expert Simon Ferrigno has provided a detailed analysis of the current situation of the organic cotton markets world-wide.

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