Global Organic Cotton Production Increased 15% in 2010

Organic cotton being picked in Africa OE 2010 photo

Farmer picks organic cotton in Africa. Photo: Textile Exchange

Despite the recession, manufacturer demand has helped increase global organic cotton production by 15% in 2009-2010, according to a new report by sustainable textile non-profit Textile Exchange, formerly known as Organic Exchange. The Organic Cotton Farm and Fiber Report reveals that India, Syria, and Turkey are the leading organic cotton producers in the world.

Organic Cotton Now Represents 1.1% of Global Cotton Production

Production of organic cotton has grown from 209,950 metric tonnes (MT) in 2008-2009 to 241,276 MT, which is just over 1.1 million bales, grown on 1.14 million acres of land in 2009-2010. According to the Textile Exchange, these figures show that organic cotton now represents 1.1 percent of global cotton production.

Organic Cotton Boll in Green Foliage photo

Photo: Textile Exchange

The Textile Exchange is impressed with the organic cotton grown despite the recession and expects to see similar growth this year.

According LaRhea Pepper, Textile Exchange senior director, via the press release, "Manufacturers, retailers and consumers, and most importantly, farmers, all signaled their continued interest in supporting organic cotton production and the risks that came with it despite the recession."

India remains the top producer of organic cotton, out of the twenty-three organic cotton-producing countries, growing 80% (an increase of 37% from 2008-09) of the fiber grown worldwide.

Brands interested in securing an organic cotton supply must act now as 2008-2009 stocks of organic cotton have already been purchased, as have much of this year's crop.

Read more on organic cotton and sustainable textile at Textile Exchange.

Correction: a former version of this article read that global organic cotton was grown on 186,560 acres of land in 2009-2010; this figure is incorrect.

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