Textile News

Cotton Made in Africa (CmiA)


Sustainable African Cotton for a global Textile Industry.


Cotton made in Africa is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) that helps African smallholder cotton farmers to improve their living conditions. Growers must meet minimum environmental and social requirements for their cotton to qualify as CmiA.

Producing Countries (2016/17 unless otherwise stated)

Manufacturing Process


Manufacturing Location


Fiber Production 2016/17 (MT)

495,839 mt

Growth in production (2016/17 - 2017/18)


Market Share of Total Cotton Grown (2017/18)


Projected growth in production

Projected increase

Yield (see accompanying “TE Position” notes)

Claim of 20% average yield increase

Rainfed/ Irrigated

100% rainfed

Water Management

CmiA farmers practice rainfed agriculture exclusively. This means they do not use any artificial irrigation.

Soil Fertility

Farmers receive training to improve agricultural practices, particularly soil and water conservation. Composting and manure are encouraged whilst crop rotation is mandatory.


Destruction of primary forest (or other designated resources protected by national or international law) for the purpose of cotton production is prohibited.

GMOs Permitted?


Use of Hazardous Pesticides

Promotes bio-intensive IPPM and excludes pesticides banned under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the WHO list of highly hazardous and hazardous pesticides, and pesticides listed in the Rotterdam Convention on PIC.

Use of Synthetic Fertilizer

Excessive use of fertilizers not an issue in CmiA’s growing regions; IPM, organic manure and compost pits encouraged.

LCA available?

Yes – PE International (2014a)

Water Consumption (m3/ 1000kg fiber*) or best practices used to conserve water

1 (~100% reduction – LCA)

Primary Energy Demand MJ /1000 kg fiber *

No data

Global Warming (kg of CO2-eq/ 1000kg fiber*)

1,037 (42% reduction – LCA)

Eutrophication (kg of phosphate-eq/ 1000 kg fiber *)

20.4 (436% increase – LCA)

Social considerations / regulations

Production must comply with labor standards as set by the ILO. CmiA standard includes farm as well as gin level criteria. Social project investment with AbTF and retail partners/ cotton companies.

Verification / Certification (farm level)

Self-assessment and 3rd party certification on field and gin level.

Chain of Custody (supply chain)

Mass Balance from spinning mill onward (hard identity from field to spinning mill); full traceability possible through Hard Identity Preserved (option).

Product marketing/labeling

In store marketing/ on product labeling (own label or CmiA hangtag).

Consumer recognition

13% awareness among German consumers (measured Aug 2016).


No price differential for farmers but the volume-based fee paid by brands/retailers is reinvested in the Foundation’s activities, e.g. farmer training, verification, community projects, etc.

Product marketing/labeling

In store marketing/ on product labeling (own label or CmiA hangtag).

Quality perception/ implications

Historical perceptions of quality being an issue – but not so much these days.
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