2013 ICAC World Café is creating a framework for Measuring Sustainability

2013 ICAC World Café is creating a framework for Measuring Sustainability

The 2013 World Café, who debuted at last year’s ICAC International Cotton Advisory Committee Plenary Meeting in Interlaken (CH), this time in Cartagena, Columbia gathered participants into dozens of small groups to collaborate on ways to create a tangible path forward in measuring sustainability

The framework for measuring sustainability is critical for the industry, because cotton is going to need proof that it is being produced sustainably, according to World Café moderator and facilitator Jens Soth.

The creation of a framework for sustainability measurement is going to happen, so the cotton industry needs to seize the initiative and frame the debate in the appropriate way, Soth added. He is a senior advisor at HELVETAS Swiss Interco-operation, he made clear “If we don’t someone else will, and then someone else’s plan will be imposed on the cotton industry.”

A reporter at each table summarised the major discussion points and compiled them on October 2, 2013 for the morning presentation on October 3, 2013. The World Café participants came to a consensus on the following three points: Any framework for measuring sustainability needs to be implemented on a country specific basis. The result of sustainability measurement should not lead to discrimination within the cotton sector, and a committee of representatives from each country should be created not only to help create the initial framework, but to ensure that it continues to improve as the industry evolves.

Those national boards, which would ideally include representatives from all sectors of the cotton value chain, would then submit their data to an independent global organisation, such as ICAC, for consolidation and dissemination to other participating nations.

The other moderators and facilitators at the ICAC World Café in Colombia were Matthias Knappe, programme manager for cotton, textiles and clothing with Geneva (CH) based International Trade Centre, and Uwe Grewer, EX-ACT consultant with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN United Nations.


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