Since 2008, the Cotton made in Africa Standard has contributed to making sub-Saharan smallholder cotton production more sustainable. As of now, up to 700,000 smallholder cotton farmers in ten countries of sub-Saharan Africa have been certfied according to the CmiA standard. To continuously improve the CmiA standard, the AbTF has launched a standard revision process in 2015. We would now like to invite all interested parties to take part in the public consultation and give us feedback.
The certification according to CmiA criteria allows cotton companies to trade their lint cotton under the CmiA denomination. Retailers partnering with CmiA can use the consumer-facing CmiA label. To award CmiA sales certificates, the AbTF commissions independent and ISO accredited control bodies in sub-Saharan Africa to regularly conduct third-party verifications of all CmiA partners both on the agricultural production, on the first level of processing (ginnery) and management level of the partnering cotton companies. During these audits, the independent auditors check both compliance with Minimum Criteria and continuous improvement towards sustainability – measured against Development Criteria.
Since the CmiA Standard came into force in 2008, it has been continuously improved. In 2016, we are already at the revision of vol. 3.1 to CmiA Standard Vol. 4. For the CmiA standard revision process, the Aid by Trade Foundation has called together its Technical Advisory Group on Standard and Verification, which comprises about 20 members from all stakeholder groups – cotton producers, traders, retailers, auditors, donors and implementation partners as well as non-governmental organizations.
The first draft of CmiA Standard vol.4 has been commented through the Technical Advisory Group members in internal feedback loops starting in September 2015, as well as during a face-to-face meeting at the annual CmiA Stakeholder Conference in October 2015. The second round of consultation is again taking place internally within the Technical Advisory Group.