Making the Case for Organic Cotton

A short overview of the global organic cotton market trends in 2018

Used in hundreds of everyday items, cotton is ever present in our lives. It is a key raw material for the textile industry and represents about 30% of all fibre used in the sector. Globally, around 30 million hectares are planted with cotton, accounting for more than 2% of total arable land, and producing approximately 25 million metric tonnes (MT) of cotton annually. Grown in around 80 countries, more than 100 million households around the world are directly engaged in cotton cultivation, relying on it for their income.

Our experts perfomed in-depth market analysis of the global cotton industry to help its partners in Colombia with making informed decisions on the development of the national organic cotton value chain. The report provides an overview of the global cotton market trends in 2018 and the respective share of organically grown produce over time. We are pleased to share with the reader the executive summary of the report hoping to make the case for further and rapid shift of the cotton industry towards organic standards. 

Governments and development agencies should join forces with key value chain actors to boost the transition of the cotton industry towards sustainably grown and processed fibres and cotton products.

Top takeaways


1. There are currently only 18 to 20 organic cotton producing countries in the world.

2. Since the onset of convetional cotton farming, cultivation of more sustainable cotton has never been higher than it is today.

3. Organic cotton price per pound has experience steady growth since 2013.

4. The global share of sustainable cotton increased from 3% in 2012/13 to 15% in 2016/2017.

5. The Better Cotton Initiative certifies almost the entire global sustainable cotton output.

Download report


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