The Cotton made in Africa initiative (CmiA) is significantly boosting sales of sustainable cotton from Africa, thanks to its partner Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG, a German international discount supermarket chain, which is primarily working with CmiA to achieve its goal of using cent per cent sustainable cotton by 2022. Lidl has been a partner of the initiative since February 2020.
By considerably increasing its CmiA purchase volume, Lidl is making its supply chain more sustainable and is actively promoting socially and environmentally sustainable cotton production in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Lidl is part of the Schwarz retail group headquartered in Neckarsulm. CmiA is an internationally recognised standard for sustainably-produced cotton from Africa established by the Hamburg-based Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) in 2005.
Lidl is now making a major move towards African cotton by integrating sustainable cotton into the production of its own textile brands. By 2022, it intends to be using exclusively sustainable cotton, which will be achieved primarily through CmiA, a press release from AbTF said.
Under this system, a licensing fee is paid for each textile item bearing the CmiA seal. CmiA then reinvests this fee in its projects in Africa, which focus on providing small-scale farmers with training in sustainable cultivation methods and in business fundamentals.
This training enables the cotton farmers to maintain soil fertility and to use only rainwater to irrigate their fields, for example. In addition, the CmiA standard prohibits the use of genetically modified seeds as well as the deforestation of primary forests. CmiA is currently supporting around 900,000 small-scale farmers in ten countries.
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