Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) Sourcing Workshop in Dhaka

The Otto Group customers have set themselves the target of 100% CmiA cotton in their supply chain by 2020, and additional spinners will be necessary to secure the CmiA yarn availability in Bangladesh that will be required for achievement of the Otto Group target.

Members of the delegation were Christian Barthel and Gerlind Bäz from the Aid by Trade Foundation, Thomas Neidel and Carolin Fricke from Bonprix, Susanne Toedter from H-OI Hamburg, and Maximillian Daager from Otto Stadtlander (a German cotton trader and cotton expert).

The two days before the workshop were used for open meetings between the delegation and several apparel vendors and spinners. These meetings, organized by H-OI Bangladesh, were aimed at clarification and understanding of the participants’ specific issues and questions: cotton contamination, price upcharge, and CmiA yarn availability.

At the end of the two days, the participants all agreed that the CmiA cotton suffers no more from contamination than any other conventional cotton (as all cotton is a natural commodity that varies according to growing and climate conditions) and that it is traded in conformity with market prices.

The CmiA workshop on the 15th of February in the Le Meridien ballroom was the highlight of the visit. It was attended by more than 170 participants along the textile supply chain — from apparel producers to retailers, cotton traders, and spinners.

The main objective of the meeting was to establish a broader production network for CmiA cotton by developing supply and convincing additional spinners to register under the CmiA program. Christian Barthel gave a presentation describing the history of CmiA, the mass balance system, and the current status of CmiA development; last year, production in the CmiA program rose to about 50 million garments. Thomas Neidel shared a forecast on the Bonprix demand for CmiA cotton and highlighted the opportunities it represents for the supply chain and the spinners.

The workshop was followed by two hours of intense networking and yielded its first positive results when three spinners registered with CmiA and several others were in discussion with the Aid by Trade Foundation.

“The three days were very productive and a real success. We now need to continue working together to finalize the initial results of the workshop and maintain a strong and reliable CmiA cotton supply chain in Bangladesh,” says Mikael Grard, General Manager H-OI Dhaka.