WWF Market Transformation Initiative (Cotton)

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July 2017
Marco Antonielli, Iram Zahid
Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED)

With population and consumption growing rapidly, for the planet to be able to sustain the need for food, fuel, fibres and other raw materials a more sustainable way is needed for producing these commodities. In response to this growing concern in 2009, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) launched its Market Transformation Initiative (MTI), aimed at more sustainable production and trade of “soft” commodities. The MTI focuses on fifteen commodities with the greatest impacts on biodiversity, water and climate, particularly in the most important places for conservation. The overall objective of the MTI is for 25% of the global production of WWF’s fifteen priority commodities to be meeting credible standards by 2020.

Due to the large scale of this initiative, the case study WWF Market Transformation Initiative (Cotton) focused on the value chain for Cotton in particular. The main route through which changes have been made in the cotton value chain is through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which was formed as part of a roundtable with representatives from NGOs, academia, governments and industry. The main approach used by the BCI was voluntary certification.