For sustainable cotton farming in sub-Saharan Africa: Cotton made in Africa

The Aid by Trade Foundation’s Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) initiative has long been an important partner for Tchibo. Together with other stake­holders, we help African cotton-farming families in the sub-Saharan region to lastingly improve their living condi­tions. So Tchibo purchases CmiA cotton and has it processed in its clothing and home textiles assort­ments. For this it pays a licence fee, which is invested in the growing areas, e.g. to fund training, women's programmes, village community projects, or cotton certi­fi­cation, whose costs should not be borne by the cotton farmers.

Currently, 30 % of the cotton produced in sub-Saharan Africa is CmiA-certified, which makes CmiA probably Africa's most important initiative for small­holders, their families and commu­nities, as well as for environ­mental protection in cotton production. With its latest ‘Wear a smile’ campaign, the initiative seeks to draw attention to the fact that by purchasing textiles made with CmiA cotton, consumers are doing exactly the right thing and are giving the gift of a smile as well. Tchibo is actively involved in the campaign, as shown by the smiling mouth on its products.

CmiA is partic­u­larly committed to advocating better working and environ­mental condi­tions in the fields, for children's education, and for strength­ening small­holders’ rights. In basic business courses, cotton farmers learn how to run their farm as a small business and to plan with according foresight. Under the motto ‘helping people to help themselves’they are supported in indepen­dently taking care of themselves and their families and shaping their lives with self-confi­dence.

CmiA-certified cotton does not come from monocul­tures. Strict attention is paid to ensuring that no rainforests are cut down for its culti­vation, and no genet­i­cally modified seeds or dangerous pesti­cides are used. The climate is also protected, because CmiA cotton farming produces less green­house gases compared to conven­tional cotton.

Focus on Zambia: Enabling children to attend school

Zambia is one of the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Together with the Deutsche Investi­tions- und Entwick­lungs­ge­sellschaft (DEG), the Aid by Trade Foundation, and the cotton company Cargill Zambia, Tchibo supported a school project in Zambia’s Eastern Province from 2012 to the end of January 2016 as part of the CmiA initiative. There are nearly 45,000 small­holders in the project region. Eight new school buildings were constructed, and renovation work carried out on two other schools. The schools were equipped with solar systems, wells, school gardens and toilets.

The project signif­i­cantly improved the infras­truc­tural condi­tions such as access to education and clean drinking water, especially in remote rural areas.