February 2009

U.S. land devoted to organic production increases Organic Trade Association research details organic cotton production

GREENFIELD, MASS. (Dec. 23, 2008)--U.S. acreage planted with organic cotton
increased for second straight year, according to research compiled by the
Organic Trade Association (OTA). Analysis of available data found that the
total acres planted in organic cotton grew from 8,510 in 2007 to 9,279 in
2008, constituting a nine percent increase.

Harvest acreage figures for 2008 are not yet available. Other findings show
14,025 bales of organic cotton were harvested in 2007, representing a 73
percent increase over the previous year, when the total number of bales was
8,116. The U.S. organic cotton harvest represents about 2.1 percent of total
global organic cotton production.

To compile the research, OTA surveyed organic cotton farmers in the United
States who grew organic cotton in 2007, and combined those results with
acreage and harvest figures from the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing
Cooperative. Ten of 62 farms surveyed returned surveys that met the criteria
for analysis. OTA's survey, funded by Cotton Inc., asked about the types of
cotton planted and harvested. Survey respondents planted 2,590 acres of
organic upland cotton and 245 acres of organic pima cotton. In 2007, survey
respondents harvested 1,716 acres of organic upland cotton and 225 acres of
organic pima cotton.

Other survey findings revealed that changes are taking place within the
organic cotton market. Organic cotton farmers saw the range in average price
they received per pound increase from between $0.85 and $1.25 for organic
upland cotton in 2006 to between $1 and $1.50 in 2007. Organic pima cotton
farmers saw a similar increase in price, ranging from $1.65 to $2.09 in 2006
to $1.05 to $3 in 2007.

Additional findings from this year's survey make clear that several
challenges lie ahead for U.S. organic cotton producers. Such producers
remain in need of educational and economic resources to support their
organic practices and build awareness of and access to high-quality markets
for their organic cotton products.

Despite these challenges, survey data and projections from farmers forecast
growth in production of U.S. organic cotton to approximately 12,000 acres, a
29 percent increase from 2008.

Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides
and synthetic fertilizers. In addition, federal regulations prohibit the use
of genetically engineered seed for organic farming. All cotton sold as
organic in the United States must meet strict federal regulations covering
how the cotton is grown.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business
association for organic agriculture and products in North America. Its
approximately 1,700 members include growers, shippers, processors,
certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters,
consultants, retailers and others. OTA's mission is to promote and protect
the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public
and the economy. Learn more:

December 2007

Organic Exchange published new figures on the organic cotton market
The US-based Organic Exchange recently published new figures on the organic
cotton market for the 2006/07 season. It announced a 53% increase of fibre
production within one year to 57.931 tons and is optimistic to further
increases for the coming seasons. more

PAN Germany and PAN UK toured to Fashion schools in Germany, France and the UK
In October and November 2007 PAN Germany and PAN UK toured together with
panel experts to several fashion schools in Europe. The aim was to show
future decision makers in the fashion and textile industry how they can make
a difference in the lives of cotton farmers around the world. more

Incentives for designers to go into sustainable fashion in the UK
Nine leading sustainable fashion businesses in the UK launched a competition
for young fashion designers titled "Make your mark in Fashion". This news
comes together with PAN UK's sponsorship for fashion design students in its
mini-grant programme "Organic by Design". more

Organic cotton businesses award winning
While in Germany a young fashion company has won a start-up competition of a
business magazine, the Confederation of British Industry gave the CBI 2007
"New Product of The Year" Award to a company using organic, natural colour
cotton. more

Publication of International Trade Centre about the market for organic cotton fibre, textiles and clothing
The organic cotton topic has arrived on the agenda of the international
trade organisations: This year, the International Trade Centre (ITC)
commissioned a report, which analysed the global market for organic cotton
fibre, textiles and clothing. more

New publication on child labour in cotton production
The British Environmental Justice Foundation just published another sad
report outlining the extensive use of child labour in global cotton
production. more

Event on organic cotton and labelling at BioFach fair 2008
Within the BioFach congress programme, PAN Germany will conduct a session on
how to label sustainable clothing. BioFach fair will take place in
Nuernberg, Germany from the 21st to 24th of February 2008. more


November 2007

Cape Fear Apparel is now a member of IFOAM

October 2007

Organic Cotton Production Climbs 53%
CALIFORNIA [25.09.07] - Latest figures from the Organic Exchange show that the amount of organic cotton produced globally increased 53% from 2005/06 to 2006/07 to 57,931 metric tons (MT), or 265,517 bales of cotton and volumes are set to climb further.

This expansion was led by growers in Turkey, India, Syria, China and Peru according to the just published report: Organic Exchange Organic Farm and Fiber Report 2007, from the US non-governmental organization, and using three different growth scenarios, it says organic cotton production will likely increase from 25 to 55% in 2007/08.

This further increase is likely, because of the increasingly popularity of
organic cotton use in consumer products. Ending stocks of organic cotton are estimated to be only approximately 9,046 MT or 41,461 bales and these are likely remain at or lower than current levels in all three scenarios given the tight market, according to the Organic Exchange. "The increase in organic cotton production around the world is a direct result of the apparel, home product and personal care industry's interest in providing products grown in the most sustainable manner possible," said LaRhea Pepper, Organic Exchange executive director. "Organic Exchange believes that demand for organic cotton fiber will remain high which means more and more farmers can convert to organic production to help manufacturers meet the demand," Pepper continued. The report said that organic cotton was now grown in a total of 24 countries on all arable continents. The top ten organic cotton producing countries were (in order by rank): Turkey, India, China, Syria, Peru, the United States, Uganda, Tanzania, Israel, and Pakistan. Almost 45% (44.9) of the organic cotton was grown in the Middle East (Turkey, Syria and Israel), while 32.9% was grown in Southeast Asia (India and Pakistan). Organic production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers. The report says that global organic cotton product sales increased an estimated 35% annually, from US$245 million in 2001 to US$583 million in 2005 and are projected to climb to US$2.6 billion by the end of 2008. The top five users of organic cotton in 2005 were Nike (Oregon), Coop Switzerland and Patagonia (California), Otto (Germany), and Sam's Club/Wal-mart (Arkansas).

June 2007
At the personal request of The Honorable Samuel Assefa, Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States of America, Guy Carpenter (President, Cape Fear Apparel) addressed an economic development symposium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June of this year. The conference was co-hosted by WBIFP (the World Bank Institute
Finance and Private Sector Division
), AFTPS (Africa Private Sector Development), the Donor Thematic Working Group on PSD (Private Sector Development) and Trade, and Government of Ethiopia. Guy's presentation addressed growth opportunities in the textile and apparel sector that may be possible for the Ethiopian textile and apparel industry if a more environmentally focused direction could be promoted and sustained. And, what type of customers may come to them if they did so. One direction suggested was to obtain organic certification of cotton grown in Ethiopia and to encourage the growth of a "green" production chain to finished apparel for export.

Other distinguished speakers included:

H.E. Ato Tadesse Haile
The State Minister for Trade and Industry, Federal democratic Republic of Ethiopia

H.E. Ato Harqa Haroye
The Minister of Justice, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Dr. William D. Jackson
Executive Office of the President of the United States of America

Mr. Magdi M. Amin
The Director for African Affairs, Office of US Trade Representative Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, the World Bank

Ms. Andra Koke
Director- Unit Trade and Development, DG Trade, The European Union

Dr. Ishac Diwan
Ethiopia Country Director, the World Bank

Mr. Addis Alemayehou
Chief of Party, USAID Ethiopia, African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

Mr. Mark Walter
Project The Chief of Party, USAID Doha Project Promoter, Diaspora Investment and Export Center

Dr. Charles Sabel
Professor, Columbia University

Mr. Ermyas Emelga
Chairman, Access Capital

Post conference email from Ambassador Assefa:
"... I am delighted you accepted the invitation for the Addis conference. ..., your attendance meant everything to all participants, not just the people from the World Bank. Indeed, there seems to be universal agreement that yours was the most important contribution. Your irreverent, in your words, politically incorrect, remarks helped ensure that participants were alive to the real challenges on the ground. Many expressed their hope that we could entice you to consider returning sometime soon. Maybe we could come up with something that is both viable and exciting to sustain, and to deepen, your engagement with Ethiopia."

More info here...


February 2007:
We had a very good show in Las Vegas. Global Eco Apparel Show February 12th through the 15th, 2007 at the Venetian Hotel.

October 2006:
I visited Organic Cotton farms in Northern Uganda. In Kampala we also started working to develop new fabrics with Phenix Logistics a 100% certified organic spinner, who has organic knitting, and organic cut & sew. They are now supplying Edun with t-shirts. EDUN is a socially conscious clothing company created by Ali Hewson and Bono with New York clothing designer Rogan Gregory.

September 2006:
I visited Cut & Sew operations in Ethipoia and helped to encouraged the growth of organic cotton agriculture...