Primark has expanded its sustainable cotton programme, which provides training in sustainable farming methods to independent farmers, by partnering with CottonConnect and NGO Reeds in Pakistan.
Pakistan is one of Primark’s key sourcing countries for cotton.
20,000 farmers have already enrolled in the programme in Pakistan, where the clothing company hopes the replicate the same level of success its programme delivered in India. So far, over 6,000 Indian cotton farmers have been trained in sustainable methods, reporting an average profit increase of almost 200%.
Over 30,000 farmers across India and Pakistan will have completed their training by 2022, Primark said.
“We’re very proud of the Sustainable Cotton Programme, and we’re delighted to be able to use our experience in India to help train and support the farming community in Pakistan,” said Katharine Stewart, Ethical Trade and Environmental Sustainability Director at Primark.
“We’ve deliberately targeted regions that are already used by our suppliers, so we can introduce even more cotton grown using sustainable farming methods into our supply chain as soon as possible.”
Shahid Saleem, Executive Director at Reeds, added: “We’ve been working to try to improve lives within rural communities in Pakistan for 16 years. This is the first time we have partnered with a large clothing retailer on one of our programmes. By partnering with Primark and CottonConnect, we’ll be able to provide support to thousands of farmers and their families in the Punjab and Sindh regions of Pakistan.”
Farmers in the programme are trained in the most appropriate farming techniques for their land, from seed selection, sowing, soil, water, pesticide and pest management, to picking, fibre quality, grading and storage of the harvested cotton.