Bayer CropScience launched its revolutionary e3™ sustainable cotton program today at the Kingpins New York denim sourcing show. e3 is a transparent, environmentally responsible, economically viable, and socially equitable program that provides stringent guidelines for farmers in the United States who grow Certified FiberMax® or authentic Stoneville® cotton. e3 takes to the next level the Certified FiberMax and authentic Stoneville programs, which allow buyers to identify where their cotton was grown utilizing a certification database maintained exclusively by Bayer CropScience.
For mills and brands, there are three key benefits of the e3 program:
· e3 is socially equitable to address issues of working/living conditions of growers and laborers, needs of the surrounding rural farm community, as well as consumer health and safety aspects.
· e3 is economically viable to meet the individual economic needs of farmers, farm families, farm workers and customers, and to help make farms financially competitive enterprises that are consistently profitable year over year.
· e3 is an environmentally responsible program encouraging reduced use of water, land and energy while maintaining productivity.
Farmer enrollment is voluntary, but once enrolled, farmers make a commitment to the program and to continuous improvement in productivity, environmental quality, and personal well-being. Farm performance is self-evaluated though the Fieldprint® Calculator, an online tool designed by Field to Market, the Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, and verified with in-season and post-harvest third-party audits. During harvest, bales are entered into the database and the certified product is sent to the brand. The Fieldprint Calculator self-assessment shows farmers the impact of farming practices on natural resources, helping them operate more efficiently and establishing a point of comparison with local data averages. Thus, farmers can identify areas where improvements can be made in areas of sustainability such as: productivity, land use, soil loss, irrigation water use, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
“The concept of sustainable cotton grew out of the desire of farmers, textile producers, brands and retailers to meet consumer demand for a renewable source of cotton,” said Brent Crossland, Fiber Development Manager for Bayer CropScience. “Bayer CropScience is proud to bring a new and comprehensive option to the table that addresses the various and complex aspects of sustainable cotton.”
Bayer CropScience has enlisted the help of Olah Inc., Kingpins show producer, to assist with the consulting and marketing of e3 cotton to the textile and apparel industries.
“Olah is proud to support Bayer CropScience’s new e3 program,” said Andrew Olah, chief executive of Olah Inc. “In a world where sustainability has become a catchphrase, we are thrilled to be able to champion a cotton program that addresses the reality and science of sustainable cotton farming.”