Hamburg/Istanbul, October 15, 2018. On the initiative of Cotton made in Africa (CmiA), a 17-members delegation of African cotton producers traveled to Turkey to learn more about the processing of "their" raw materials in one of the largest textile production markets in the world. In the metropolitan area of Istanbul, they visited an import organization, a spinning mill and a clothing manufacturing plant. The aim of the trip was to better understand the needs of each supply chain member and meet the quality requirements within the cotton and textile production market.
At the beginning of the trip, a visit to a spinning mill and embroidery in Çorlu near Istanbul was on the agenda. From the modern and efficient machinery through the laboratory to the many elaborate cleaning stages and quality controls, it offered new and interesting insights for the African visitors. In addition, they learned more about the manufacturing process (CMT) and the import organization on site. All these process steps follow when the cotton producers lose sight of their raw material after selling their harvest to the nominated cotton traders. The three different stations in the textile value chain made it impressively clear how many work and elaborated processing steps follow until a high-quality T-shirt is made from the raw material cotton. "I am fascinated by the precision and care with which the cotton is processed. It motivates us to apply the same quality standard when growing cotton ", Emmanuel Mbewe sums up his impressions. Mbewe is CmiA coordinator of the cotton company Continental Ginnery Limited in Zambia. He is constantly working with the smallholders to produce high quality cotton that can achieve a better price on the world market.
Organizer of the trip was Cotton made in Africa (CmiA). The initiative works with over one million smallholders in Africa who produce sustainable cotton according to the CmiA standard. The aim of the trip was to promote the exchange between the different stages of textile value creation, which usually have very little or no contact with each other. The visit contributed to a better understanding of the needs of the textile industry on the one hand and the challenges of cotton producers on the other. Christian Barthel, Director Business Development of CmiA, summarizes: "We are pleased about the great interest in this cross-channel exchange. If the partners in the textile value chain understand each other's needs better, everyone benefits."
Cotton is the most commonly used natural fiber for global textile production. Cotton produced sustainably in accordance with the CmiA standard is in demand in all important textile production markets - as well as in Turkey. According to the WTO, Turkey was ranked sixth in the world’s largest textile suppliers in 2017. The country has been a producer of CmiA-labeled textiles since the sustainability initiative was launched in 2005.