Some facts on cotton production worldwide

In 2008 44 billion US$ were spent on pesticides used in agricultural production. US$ 3 billion were spent in cotton. On less than 3% of the arable land (=cotton production area)  worldwide 6.8% of the herbicides and 16% of the insecticides used were applied in cotton only.

Production of genetically modified cotton has increased tremendously, covered in the season 2008/09 48% of all cotton production area, amounted to 54% of global cotton production and 52% of cotton trade.

Organic Exchange predicts a 21% growth (estimation) in organic cotton production in 2009.

Share not convey knowledge!

Never before used within this community are the moderation techniques of fish bowl, open space and world cafe. ‘I hear a lot of people talking about the way this conference has been set up. Instead of expert panels, the interactive sessions bring people together on another level. It’s not so much about conveying your knowledge, but about coming up with new ideas when bringing different actors within the supply chain together at a table. I have to say that I like it very much!’ said Prabha Nagarajan of Organic Exchange in India.

Congrats to the organizers of WCOC for thinking out the box with this special conference format!

Success factor of co-operation

In session 25 we learned from Veronika Utz, DED an important success factor in co-operation:  working with already committed people and already initiated value chains. Even if the value chain is weak, comittment of the people is very important. Veronika is working with a women producer group in Laos which does craftwork out of organic cotton. The women are very greatfull for the support they get. They for instance conducted a small market survey that helped very much to align their range of products to the demand of consumers. Two business women helped the women group to make their business fit for the market. Today you can already order products from them via an online shop.

Valorisation locale du coton bio et équitable

Hervé Le Gal, délégué général d’Ingalan nous présente le travail de cette ONG bretonne engagée dans la promotion et le développement du commerce équitable. La région Bretagne  les a chargé de travailler à la valorisation du coton bio dans les pays producteurs d’Afrique occidentale et de chercher à amener les acteurs économiques bretons, principalement des PME, à entrer dans le programme.Au cours de ce bref entretien, il nous explique ce qu’il attend de sa participation au congrès.

Ever heard about the Marrakesh process?

If you think now of the WTO round in Marakech or an judicial proceeding, you’re wrong! The Marrakech process is a 10 years global framework for action on sustainable consumption and production. In session 35 of the WOCO09 Mrs. Eveline Venanzoni, representing the Swiss Federal office  for the Environment FOEN in the Marrakech task force for sustainable public procurement, explained the participative Marrakech process and it’s different stages starting with the conference in Rio in 2002. A famous outcome of this conference is the so called “agenda 21”.

Unfortunately not much people are familiar with the Marakech process due to laking PR. But a ten years plan to bring production and consumption in a vary of aspects towards more sustainability can be commented by all interested people. Just click on the link and find the draft paper at

WCOC09: Results, news and secrets of day1

Andy Salm moderated the closing session of day1 of the WCOC09, reporting back in plenary ‘results, news and secrets of the day’. The story telling process used for this session, as well as the other facilitation techniques adopted throughout the all congress,  are quite original for an event of this size and type.

Most of the discussions so far have been taking place in small groups, to ensure a high degree of interaction and participation among the delegates. For each session, a rapporteur had been chosen, with the task not so much to write a formal report, but rather to write down on 5 cards the key points emerging from the group discussion. Andy’s job was then to go through this cards, and pull out recurrent threads and learning points. He shared these with the audience, and took few minutes with us to record the main ones with us in the blip below.

De nouveaux clients pour le coton bio du Mali

Sidi El’Moctar N’Guiro est directeur du Mobion, l’association faîtière des producteurs de coton bio du Mali. Il est venu à Interlaken rencontrer des partenaires de longue date et trouver de nouveaux clients désireux de soutenir la filière du coton bio d’Afrique occidentale.