Primark has extended its sustainable cotton programme, which was launched in 2013, for a further six years.
Primark’s sustainable cotton programme
The programme aims to support women from traditionally male-dominated farming communities in Gujarat, India, to introduce sustainable farming methods, improve cotton yields and increase incomes, in partnership with agricultural experts, CottonConnect, and the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA).
The three-year pilot trained 1,251 women smallholders, resulting in an average profit increase of 211%, Primark said.
By the second year of the project, yields increased by 12.6% on average, while input costs fell by 5%. Fertiliser usage fell by 13.5% and pesticide by 53.5%, it said.
The six-year extension is expected to help a further 10,000 female farmers.
“The Primark Sustainable Cotton Programme started with a desire to develop a project that would improve sustainable cotton production and make a meaningful difference for cotton farmers,” said Paul Lister, who is responsible for Primark’s ethical trading team.
“We believe that partnership holds the key to delivering change in developing countries such as India, which is why we approached Self Employed Women’s Association and introduced them to sustainable agricultural experts, CottonConnect. The results have exceeded all our expectations and I’m delighted that we’ll have the opportunity to reach a further 10,000 female farmers over the next six years.”