On September 25, 2019 – BCI hosted Pakistan Regional Members Meeting in Pearl Continental Lahore, Pakistan. The purpose of the event was to bring the BCI members together from the entire cotton supply chain that includes farmers, retailers & brands, ginners, spinners, fabric mills, garment manufacturers to learn and network.
Following to the Regional Members Meeting, BCI is also hosting a Field Trip to “Toba Tek Singh” for a chance to get into the cotton fields on September 26, 2019. This trip allows the participants to interact with farmers who are implementing Better Cotton Standard System in the field and how it’s making an impact on their livelihoods.
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world. Together with its partners BCI provides training on more sustainable farming practices to more than two million cotton farmers in 21 countries. In the 2017-18 cotton season, licensed BCI Farmers produced more than five million metric tonnes of ‘Better Cotton’ – that accounts for around 19% of global cotton production.
The welcome address was given by Dr. Shafiq Ahmad (BCI Regional Director), Muhammad Shuaib (BCI Supply Chain Manager) and Syed Ahtisham (BCI Membership Coordinator) followed by some latest news and updates of BCI.
More than 200 participants attended the meeting. Some key speakers and participants at the event included Mr Haroon Ellahi Sheikh (Director – Nagina Group), Dr Asif Ali (Vice Chancellor – MNS university of agriculture Multan), Mr Atif Dada (Director – Dada Sons Limited and Ex-Chairman Karachi Cotton Exchange), Mr Syed Rizwan Wajahat (IKEA Supply AG Pakistan Liaison Office), Mr Faisal Javed (Director – Din Group), Mr Syed Bilal Chabra (CEO – Louis Dreyfus Company Pakistan), Mr Khawaja Shafqat (General Manager – Supply Interloop Limited), Mr Zafar Waga (Managing director – Lodhran Fibers), Mr Asad Imran (Senior Manager WWF Pakistan), Mr Syed Siraj (Materials responsible at H&M), Mr Naveed Alam (Water Sprint Limited) and Mr Muhammad Amir (Deputy Manager Supply chain – Artistic Milliners).
Following are the key topics presented at the event:
– Importance of water stewardship in agriculture
– Cotton Outlook of Pakistan
– Cotton production in Pakistan Challenges and Opportunities
– Idea for sustainable development of industry
– Business sector support to BCI Project
– How sustainability works
Panel discussions at the event included Farmers Role in Sustainable Cotton Production and Future of sustainable cotton consumption.
The event concluded with the 10 years anniversary celebration of BCI with concluding remarks from Dr Shafiq followed by a brief session on COC updates and BCI audits.
The attendees left inspired by meeting the farmers, civil societies and our implementing partners from across the country.