In 2021, the non-profit Aid by Trade Foundation generated EUR 5.9 million (USD 6.1 million) in total revenue, the majority of which (EUR 5.2 million) came from its Cotton Made in Africa and The Good Cashmere Standard programmes.
According to the Aid by Trade Foundation’s 2021 report, the organisation’s total revenue was 37 % higher than the previous year, with the majority of its success owing to the private-sector market activities of its sustainability standards Cotton Made in Africa (CmiA) and The Good Cashmere Standard (GCS), but a smaller proportion (EUR 0.7 million) came from donations and grants.
Despite pandemic-related constraints, program implementation expenditures for both sustainability requirements and cooperation initiatives increased by roughly 30 %, reaching EUR 3.1 million. According to the Aid by Trade Foundation, this spending indicates an investment in providing a quantitative and decisive contribution to improving people’s and animals’ living circumstances and conserving the environment.
Aid by Trade Foundation’s founder Professor Michael Otto, said that Aid for self-help via commerce is more necessary than ever before, especially at the global level. For more than 15 years, the Aid by Trade Foundation’s guiding philosophy has been to ensure that trade in these items is fair and to use it as a catalyst for change in commodity-producing nations. Especially in light of recent events, it is critical to remain dedicated to their work and to provide sustainable raw materials to global textile value chains. Together with new and established partners from Europe, Africa, and Asia, they are tackling the issues they confront in novel ways to improve the lives of people, animals, and the environment.
According to the report, more than three-quarters of total income (78 %) was spent on implementing the Cotton Made in Africa and The Good Cashmere Standard through activities aimed at protecting the environment and improving the living conditions of a million small-scale farmers in ten African companies, 3.3 million cashmere goats, and the 7900 cashmere farmers in Inner Mongolia who were programme members in 2021.
Tina Stridde, general director of Aid by Trade Foundation, said that the ongoing rise in demand for African Cotton and The Good Cashmere Standard is a powerful testament to their efforts. They were able to greatly extend their network and further enhance their efforts toward sustainable cotton agriculture in Africa and improved animal welfare in Inner Mongolia.
According to the study, the foundation and its partners faced various obstacles in 2021, including the continuing pandemic as well as climate change and its impact on biodiversity and soil fertility.
Stridde said that both Cotton Made in Africa and The Good Cashmere Standard was founded with the goal of leveraging market forces in order to be part of the solution to issues in sustainable cotton cultivation and certified cashmere harvesting. They’ll continue to work on this in 2022.
Cotton Made in Africa developed 116 wells, 452 latrines, and four health stations from its beginning until the end of 2021 to guarantee that basic health and hygiene needs were satisfied.
Children are supposed to benefit from 110 new or renovated classrooms, 67 canteens, and 54 school gardens that offer food. 82 women’s groups also got funding, allowing female small-scale farmers to attain social and financial independence. Furthermore, the foundation created the CmiA Carbon Neutral Project to enable a more climate-friendly textile supply chain; as part of the initiative and the related certifications offset, 3,318 tonnes of CO2-neutral CmiA cotton were achieved in 2021.
Similarly, The Good Cashmere Standard, which was founded in 2020 and is described as one of the world’s first standards for sustainable cashmere, has been working to improve animal welfare and prioritize the implementation of suitable conditions for cashmere goats in Inner Mongolia, which is one of the world’s largest cashmere producers. The foundation’s focus in 2021 was on educational and awareness-raising efforts, with guidance and support from specialists, particularly in animal welfare, to accomplish long-term reforms.
The Aid by Trade Foundation wishes to expand its network and demand for African cotton and The Good Cashmere Standard.
According to the company, demand for a certified sustainable alternative to traditional cashmere is enormous, thanks in part to animal rights organizations and changes in consumer behaviour.
According to the foundation, well-known retailers and fashion brands from Europe, Australia, and North America are already partners, and by 2021, more
than 30 international licensing partners from seven countries will have brought approximately six million products to market under The Good Cashmere Standard label.