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Global organic cotton expands by 152 percent

By Independent Reporter

Thanks to the heightened demand from small-to-large sized retailers around the world, the organic cotton cultivation has zoomed 152 percent in 2007-08, according to a recent report by Texas-based Organic Exchange (OE)

The report titled Organic Cotton Farm and Fiber Report 2008 said that organic cotton production increased to 145,872 metric tons (668,581 bales) grown on 161,000 hectares in 22 countries around the world.

Approximately 60 percent of the total represents expansion of known projects while the remaining 40 percent represents data from new projects becoming certified or previously unknown projects.

The increase in production was driven partly by the heightened demand for organic cotton on the part of small- to large-sized retailers around the world. According to the Organic Exchange Organic Cotton Market Report 2007, the organic cotton market topped one billion U.S. dollars in 2006. Data from the 2007 market will be available soon.

India, Syria, Turkey, China, Tanzania, USA, Uganda, Peru, Egypt and Burkina Faso were the top ten organic cotton producing countries in order by rank, with India taking over Turkey’s long-time standing as the number one producer. The majority of the increased organic cotton production took place in India. Organic cotton production has grown to an estimated 0.55 percent of global cotton production.

Organic production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers or genetically modified seeds.

Founded in 2002, Organic Exchange facilitates expansion of the global organic cotton fiber supply by working closely with farmers, leading brands and retailers and their business partners to develop organic cotton programs. OE has hosted numerous organic cotton conferences and trainings in supply chain centers around the world, including Brazil, China, India, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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