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Initiatives in Fairtrade cotton
Establishing a brand
When Agrocel took up the cause of cotton, there was no international certification for fair trade cotton. The Division therefore pioneered and developed Indian fair trade standards. But, with the global increase in the demand for fair trade cotton, Agrocel (along with its supporters including Traidcraft and Vericott) vigorously campaigned to have the Fairtrade Labelling Organization (FLO) develop Cotton Standards and prioritize Indian cotton. That achieved, Agrocel became the first certified supplier of Fairtrade cotton to the United Kingdom.

Setting up five Fairtrade cotton projects
These projects are in five different states of India: Gujarat, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The agro–climatic conditions vary dramatically in each of these states. This enables the Division to offer its customers cotton that has a wide range of specifications: staple length upto 34mm, with micronaire between 3.7 to 4.2.

Agrocel Cotton Impact

Becoming an active and ethical player in the supply chain
As the promoting body of the Agrocel Pure & Fair brand for cotton and other agri–produce, the Division takes responsibility for crop procurement, internal control systems, traceability and transportation. With control over the supply chain and ownership of the product at every stage in the chain, the farmer is assured of a premium price and the customer is offered value–added products at a fair price. Customers have access to an extremely reliable database on field monitoring and traceability. They can also specify an independent, international surveying agency of their choice to ensure adherence to their specifications before transport and delivery of the product.

Facilitating community development through the Fairtrade premium
Associations of farmers that have been formed as per FLO certification requirements and the premium provided to each association for community development, have had a positive impact. Speaking and acting collectively, different associations have used the premium in various ways including setting up a health clinic, creating facilities for safe drinking water, installing a solar system for electricity, buying computers for a school, training women for income generation projects.

Increasing control over the supply chain
The Division has set up its own cotton ginning, processing and oil mill (multi-crush) on a five acre plot at Dhrangdhra in the state of Gujarat. The ginning unit has 36 spindles having a capacity of 70,000 bales with integrated cotton mill. This initiative has several advantages. It makes for additional control over the supply chain. As the processing of cotton is done under strict quality control supervision by Agrocel’s own staff, customers are assured of contamination free Fairtrade and organic cotton.

Creating value additions through linkages with the Excel Group of Companies
Using the Group’s multifaceted expertise in textile-related manufacture and export, the Division undertakes a range of value-added activities �� from manufacturing the fabric as per customer specifications, to fashioning it into garments and lifestyle products, to adding further value by way of a variety of surface embellishments such as hand embroidery and beadwork.

Another pioneering activity is the Division’s forward integration of organic fibre into fabrics and export of organically dyed and certified garments.

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