The Fairtrade organization works to ensure good working conditions for employees in developing countries and to ensure cotton farmers are properly paid for the cotton. The farmers also receive a Fairtrade premium, which is reinvested in the local community. For example, the premium can be used to build schools, roads or wells. As buyers of Fairtrade-labeled cotton, we signed a trade agreement in which we have committed to buying cotton for the coming year, which ensures a secure income for the farmers. We also reserve the cotton in advance and our suppliers prepay for the cotton we use to ensure a more even yearly income for the farmers, and to secure our quantity of Fairtrade cotton.
In contrast to organic cotton, conventional cotton accounts for 25% of the global use of artificial pesticides, but covers only 3% of the farm land. To obtain one kilo of conventional cotton requires the same amount of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and biocides.