Verification of whether the standard’s requirements are being met consists of several steps. Every year, participating cotton companies are obliged to submit a self-assessment, which includes information about cotton-related business operations of the previous season as well as a self-evaluation of their compliance with the applicable criteria and indicators. This provides the Aid by Trade Foundation with a basis for external verification by commissioned independent assurance providers and for the monitoring of data-related impact indicators. Both the self-assessment process and the subsequent independent review by third parties are conducted annually. The verification process alternates its focus every year between the cotton fields and the ginneries.
The Aid by Trade Foundation helps cotton companies achieve the stated sustainability goals. Based on the audit findings, each cotton company creates a continuous-improvement plan and establishes concrete goals to be achieved by the next verification.