During the first week of October, Better Cotton facilitated two field trips for its members, offering an exclusive opportunity to engage with cotton farmers in Türkiye and Egypt. The trips, which aim to acquaint members with the practical aspects of cotton farming and to highlight sustainable methodologies used by farmers who have embraced the Better Cotton Standard System, were organised to coincide with the global celebration of World Cotton Day on October 7. During the event, farm visits and discussions about sustainable cotton farming practices were realised.
In the region of Sanlıurfa, Türkiye participants explored cotton farms and a cotton gin facility. They also experienced the celebration of World Cotton Day, featuring speeches and panel discussions from representatives of IPUD, Better Cotton’s Strategic Partner in Türkiye; the United Nations Development Programme; Better Cotton programme partner in the region; and GAP Regional Development Administration.
Çalık Denim showed its production process in the scope of Better Cotton field trips
Türkiye-based denim manufacturer Çalık Denim hosted its visitors during the field trips. The visitors examined the factory of sister company Çalık Cotton in Urfa, which produces with the latest technology infrastructure, and the fields of contracted farmers engaged in Better Cotton Initiative-oriented production on 4-5 October. The company brought the Field Trip event organised by BCI in Şanlıurfa last year to Malatya as well as Şanlıurfa this year. On the last day, participants visited Çalık Denim Factory in Malatya, where they experienced every step of fabric production, from the fibres at the very beginning to spinning, knitting, dyeing, printing, and finally, finished fabrics. Attendees gained insights into the transformation of seed cotton into lint cotton bales, learned about the testing procedures employed in cotton production, and gained a deeper understanding of sustainable cotton farming practices and the challenges faced by farmers.
These trips offered a unique opportunity for mutual understanding and first-hand experience of cotton cultivation. In addition to the field trips’ business partners; representatives of important brands such as Marks & Spencer, Varner, New Look, Beymen and Mavi, leading influencers of the denim industry, contract farmers and agricultural stakeholders in the region in Turkish cotton production took part in the event.
IPUD General Manager Sükran Baycura remarked on the significance of Better Cotton’s field trips as a means to unite various actors in the cotton supply chain, including brands and farmers. Baycura commented: “The trip to Şanlıurfa made us realise how much we achieve collectively at the field level. It provided a real-life experience that goes beyond numbers and reports.”