Better Cotton Initiative
JAS believes community is essential and the impact of working together can drastically change the course of an action with certainty. We believe the vision of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI™) aligns with our values, needs and standards. BCI™ is a worldwide, cotton sustainability program that governs the farming communities utilization of the BCI™ Standard System. This program is committed to a holistic approach with strict standards, in providing education and opportunities for farming communities to implement more sustainable practices. The BCI™ Principles and Criteria is a guide for farmers and workers to ultimately produce cotton in a manner that will positively impact and benefit their community as well as our environment, society and economy on a global scale.
7 BCI™ Principles and Criteria
BCI reduces the damaging effects of crop protection practices. Farmers develop a better understanding of Integrated Pest Management, which promotes alternative pest control routines in order to decrease reliance on traditional pesticides. It aids in phasing out the usage of Highly Hazardous Pesticides, which presents tremendous risks to the environment and the health of farmers and workers.
BCI encourages water stewardship. Farmers use water in an environmentally sustainable, economically beneficial and socially equitable manner. This can better crop yields, increase resilience to climate change, and reduce negative effects on water quality. It enables equal water access for all users in a catchment area.
Health of the Soil
BCI cares for the health of the soil. Farmers adapt to better understand and protect the soil. Healthy soil points to greater and higher quality yields, decreasing the necessity for costly fertilizer, pesticide and labor expenses. This can more easily prevail against unpredictable weather changes produced by climate change. Healthy soil assists in mitigating climate change, as it is better able to segregate carbon and function as a carbon sink.
Biodiversity and Land Responsibility
BCI strengthens biodiversity and utilizes land responsibly. Farmers conserve and strengthen biodiversity on their land and embrace practices that minimize the negative impact on habitats in and encompassing their farm.
BCI cares for and preserves fiber quality. Farmers exercise the best practices amidst the harvest, storage and transport of their seed cotton. This decreases man-made contamination and waste load that exists in the fibers. The value of the cotton increases and migrates to a cost-conscious price for farmers.
BCI encourages decent work. All farmers and workers are ensured to enjoy satisfactory laboring conditions. Labor that offers fair pay and equal opportunities for training and growth. It creates a harmonious environment where people feel safe, respected and open to vocalizing their concerns and negotiating better circumstances.
BCI conducts a successful management system. Farmers operate a management system that integrates the policies and procedures that are necessary to ensure their compliance with the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria. A successful management system prepares farmers for success by allowing constant learning and improvement of farming routines.