Farmers across the globe are working to meet the ever-increasing demand for sustainably grown cotton. True sustainable sourcing of natural fibers can be complex and challenging, which is why BASF Agricultural Solutions brought together a global delegation of farmers from Europe and the United States to ensure their voices are heard and supported.
The event, aptly named ‘United for the Biggest Job on Earth’, was held at the United Nations headquarters on Tuesday, September 12, and featured various farmers from Greece and the United States, as well as leadership from BASF Agricultural Solutions North America and Europe. Also in attendance were sustainable fashion and agriculture media.
“BASF is dedicated to creating a better future for cotton production and the cotton textile industry,” said Ray Daniels, Seed Sustainability Manager at BASF. “We understand that cotton farmers are the cornerstone of sustainable production, which is why we are giving them an international platform to share their ideas on how agriculture must meet the needs of present and future generations through profitability, environmental health and social and economic equity.”
While sustainable farming sounds new, the principles are not. Farmers across cotton-producing regions in the United States and Europe have leveraged these practices to help reduce soil erosion and improve soil health, while reducing excess nitrogen use. The renewed focus on these practices by the textile industry provides farmers an opportunity to demonstrate their inherent sustainable nature publicly in this global workshop.
“We really appreciated the opportunity to attend this event and have our voices heard,” said Texas cotton growers Randy and Pat Smith. “Consumers aren’t aware of the effort growers like us are putting into regenerative agriculture practices, and we want to continue to share our story and gain their support.”
BASF supports cotton production in the United States with the e3®Sustainable Cotton program and in Europe with the Certified Sustainable FiberMax® program. Both provide field-level traceability for cotton, as well as a way for farmers to track and measure the environmental and social impacts of their cotton production.
“Agriculture is so central to our lives, but many do not consider the powerful impact it can have,” said Gustavo Palerosi Carneiro, Vice-President, BASF Agricultural Solutions EMEA & CIS. “It’s also an industry undergoing a time of unprecedented change. Farmers have an increasingly difficult yet important role of balancing the need for increased productivity, environmental protection, and value to society.”
‘United for the Biggest Job on Earth’ is part of a partnership with the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network and another way BASF is successfully contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.