On this International Women’s Day 2022, Organic Crew wants to recognise the work done by women to make our business great. Here in Australia, we value the role women play in every part of our supply chain. Locally, we work hard to make sure women are given the opportunities they deserve but this can be harder to achieve with our producers overseas.
So, we partner with Fairtrade because we know that they have systems in place to encourage female participation, decision making and empowerment in developing countries. As well as making sure the women farmers get paid fairly and are given a voice, they have specialised programs to encourage leadership by women.
Cotton is a heavily traded agricultural commodity with over 150 countries involved in exporting or importing it. It makes up nearly 30 percent of global production and has a history dating back over 8,000 years. Cotton also plays a major role in the economic and social development of developing and newly industrialised countries. It is an especially important source of employment and income in West and Central Africa, India, Pakistan and Central Asia. As many as 100 million rural households – 90 percent of them in developing countries – are directly engaged in cotton production, relying on it for their income.
For farmers, the challenges range from the impact of climate change, poor prices for seed cotton, through to competition from highly subsidised producers in rich countries and poor terms of trade. In particular, government subsidies for cotton farmers in rich countries, especially the US, create a market with artificially low prices that small-scale farmers are unable to compete in.
We are choosing to do business differently. We source Fairtrade cotton so we can be addressing these challenges directly and rigorously.
When women are empowered, the whole society benefits – less poverty, more food, more education. These are the cornerstone for why we choose Fairtrade and essential elements to a fairer world. A world we want to be part of. Thank you for helping make this future a reality.