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Better Cotton Conference: Four key themes for 2024

The countdown is on. On June 26-27, the Better Cotton community will gather in Istanbul and online for the Better Cotton Conference 2024. This is a unique opportunity to shape a more sustainable future for the cotton sector by connecting with a diverse group of changemakers along the cotton value chain — from industry leaders to field-level experts.

This year’s conference is all about?‘Accelerating Impact’. 

The four themes are:? 

  • Putting People First? 
  • Driving Change at Field level 
  • Understanding Policy and Industry Trends 
  • Reporting on Data and Traceability 

Building on the lively discussions and talks from last year’s conference, these themes represent key areas that are both a challenge and an opportunity for the cotton sector. 

Through a mix of plenary sessions, interactive workshops and breakouts, attendees will have a chance to thoroughly explore these themes and collaborate to spark new ideas for change. And of course, there will be plenty of opportunities to network with Better Cotton Members and partners. 

Let’s take a closer look at this year’s topics and the keynote speakers who will lead these discussions. 

1. Putting people first??

BCI will open the conference by exploring how centring farmers and farm workers is a win-win-win for people, the environment, and the cotton sector at large. 

In this theme, they’ll be challenging cotton stakeholders on what it means to ensure a living income and decent work. The experts are action-oriented and will share ideas for social change that empower people and strengthen livelihoods. There will also be a spotlight on decent work progress in the host country, Türkiye.

Kicking this off will be our keynote speaker Aarti Kapoor, Founder and Executive Director of Embode, an independent human rights agency working across multiple sectors and all levels of supply chains. 

2. Driving change at field level?? 

In the second theme, BCI will discuss how to deliver impact quickly and at scale to support cotton farming communities in the fight against climate change. They will also explore topics at the heart of this mission — from soil health and regenerative agriculture to women’s empowerment and carbon markets.?? 

As the president of the Apparel Impact Institute — a nonprofit dedicated to identifying, funding, scaling and measuring the apparel and footwear industry’s environmental impact solutions — Lewis Perkins, the keynote speaker for this theme, knows a thing or two about translating ideas into action, and will share his insights with the audience. 

3. Understanding policy and industry trends 

As regulations and legislation rapidly evolve, staying up to date on policies and industry trends is crucial. The third theme will not only give attendees an overview of the major sector trends on the horizon, but also how they will impact the cotton supply chain, and how Better Cotton Members can take a more active role in policymaking.??? 

Guiding us through this will be keynote speaker Dr. Vidhura Ralapanawe, Executive Vice President of Innovation and Sustainability at the Epic Group, a state-of-the-art manufacturing company with facilities in Bangladesh, Jordan and Ethiopia. 

4. Reporting on data and traceability 

Data and traceability are central to sustainability progress, but as demand for data increases, how can we be sure we are measuring the right things? Through the final theme, BCI will dive into this question. With sessions on Life Cycle Assessments, data collection, and traceability strategies, they will offer important perspectives to ensure these approaches support the cotton sector’s collective goals.?? 

Here to steer this discussion in the right direction is Tülin Ak?n, Co-Founder of Tabit, a social enterprise that develops solutions to agricultural problems with technologies like farmer decision support software, artificial intelligence, sensors and more. 

Join the confference to accelerate impact 

BCI is excited to bring the global community together to dive deeper into these topics. Delegates can join over 250 people in person and online, all working to find innovative solutions to the cotton sector’s most urgent issues. 

Visit the conference website at?bettercottonconference.org?to learn more and get tickets.

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