Cotton made in Africa (CmiA)
Cotton made in Africa is the first initiative by the Aid by Trade Foundation that was founded in 2005 by Dr. Michael Otto, Hamburg entrepreneur and chairman of the supervisory board of the Otto Group. As an independent foundation it aims to support African smallholder cotton farmers to help themselves through trade and thus to safeguard the conservation of vital natural resources and the viability of future generations in Africa.
At present, smallholder farmers from Benin, Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique take part in the program. At the core of this initiative is a “demand alliance” of global textile companies that buy sustainably produced African cotton specifically for the world market. Over twenty major textile companies are already a part of the Alliance. Cotton made in Africa is the first initiative by the Foundation to put aid by trade into practice.
In 2012 around 435,000 smallholder farmers from Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia participated in the programme. Since November 2012 the initiative also works in Zimbabwe. Last year around 20 million textiles made of Cotton made in Africa cotton entered the market, and the initiative anticipates around 24 million units this year.
Social Accountability International (SAI) is the official US-based representative for Cotton Made in Africa, introducing this initiative to American companies and helping them to start using the initiative's socially responsible cotton.