Who is involved in the Fund?
The Better Cotton GIF is governed by the BCI Council, in partnership with BCI Retailers and Brands, Civil Society Members, and Government Bodies. IDH is both the official Fund Manager and an important funder. Representatives from IDH and BCI form the Better Cotton GIF Secretariat, who propose and implement the Better Cotton GIF strategy, manage and process applications and promote knowledge sharing.
Two multi-stakeholder committees support the Fund’s annual investment programme: The Buyer and Investor Committee (BIC) and the Field Innovation and Impact Committee (FIIC). The BIC is charged with linking supply and demand and proposing new strategic initiatives. The FIIC support the annual investment strategy development and application review process. Companies who contribute more than €150,000 per year in volume-based fees, or make public commitments to procure over 50% of their total cotton supply as Better Cotton by 2020, are invited to join the Better Cotton GIF committees and participate in the development of its investment strategy. Current 2018-19 committee members include representatives from the following organisations.
Buyer and Investor Committee
Adidas, ASOS, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, BESTSELLER, C&A, GAP Inc., H&M, IKEA, Levi Strauss & Co., M&S, Nike Inc., Tommy Hilfiger, VF Corporation, BCI and IDH.
Field Innovation and Impact Committee
C&A, IDH, IKEA, Pesticide Action Network UK, BCI and IDH.
How does the Fund work?
BCI works with partners across the world who also invest considerable time and funds in implementing the Better Cotton Standard System at field-level. The financial section of the BCI 2017 Annual Report provides an overview of resources directed to this effort, highlighting the Better Cotton GIF as one component of a global network of supporters.
BCI Retailer and Brand Members also contribute to the Fund through a fee based on the volume of Better Cotton they procure and declare. This fee enables brands to directly and efficiently support field-level programmes. Additionally, the Better Cotton GIF invites global institutional donors and government agencies to match the fees contributed by the private sector.
The Better Cotton GIF plays an important role in enabling projects to reach more farmers and equip them with learning opportunities on sustainable farming practices; however, it is not the only funding mechanism supporting the BCI model.
How is funding allocated?
The Better Cotton GIF makes investments on an annual basis to fund capacity building projects that aim to help farmers adopt practices consistent with the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria. These projects are delivered by approved BCI Implementing Partners (IPs) in the following strategic focus countries: China, India, and Pakistan. It may also support growth in Central Asia, and throughout Africa, in partnership with the Aid by Trade Foundation. The Better Cotton GIF also supports direct programmes in Turkey, Mali, Mozambique and Senegal. Every September, IPs are invited to submit proposals to the Fund. Following a rigorous review process, funding is allocated to projects that align with the Fund’s annual priorities, long-term strategy and assessment criteria. Shortlisted proposals are presented in January to the Field Innovation and Impact Committee (FIIC), who vote on each proposal.
By 2020, BCI aims to support 5 million farmers through its capacity building programmes, of which the Fund is projected to directly subsidise approximately 80-85%, primarily in India, Pakistan and across the African continent. To reach this milestone, the annual investment by the Fund must increase exponentially by 2020, requiring both governments and the private sector to remain committed contributors.