Boston, MA (May 31, 2018) – Indigo Ag, Inc., a company dedicated to harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet, has joined the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) as a member and Implementing Partner. Through this partnership, U.S. Indigo CottonTM will be produced in accordance with the Better Cotton Standard System (BCSS) Principles and Criteria.
The BCSS is a holistic approach to cotton production covering three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic, with the Principles and Criteria supporting this. They align with Indigo’s goals and include minimizing the impact of harmful crop protection practices, improving water stewardship, enhancing fiber quality, and promoting healthier soil.
Indigo will support growers of Indigo Cotton throughout the BCI licensing process, conducting field-level training and outreach, verification visits, and data collection to demonstrate continuous improvement and quantify the benefits of producing Better Cotton for farmers and the environment.
Cotton growers who work with Indigo not only stand to gain from the Better Cotton program—whose advantages include access to buyers of transparently-produced cotton and reduced on-farm input costs—but also from the productivity increases that stem from Indigo® microbial seed treatments.
In March, Indigo announced that its seed coatings boosted cotton yields by an average of 14% on commercial fields in water-stressed Texas. These results show year-over-year improvement of the company’s technology, as in 2016, Indigo Cotton saw 11% yield gains in a similar environment.
“At Indigo, we are aligning agricultural practices with consumer demands for food and fiber that is responsibly produced and sourced. The Better Cotton Initiative is a natural partner,” said David Perry, President and CEO of Indigo. “We look forward to joining BCI in their effort to establish Better Cotton as a sustainable and broadly accessible fiber.”
Scott Exo, U.S. Country Manager for BCI, also spoke to the partnership: “Indigo has demonstrated a very strong commitment to helping their farm partners fulfill all of the requirements for Better Cotton licensing, and to using their considerable agronomic and data-gathering resources to help farmers make and measure sustainability improvements in their farming operations. We look forward to working with them.”
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in, and better for the sector’s future. It is the largest cotton sustainability program in the world and endeavors to develop Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity. Last year, the program reached 1.6 million farmers from 22 countries and mobilized over $10 million in field-level investment. BCI members number over 1200 and include growers, non-profits, suppliers, and manufacturers, along with top retailers and brands such as IKEA, H&M, VF Corporation, and Nike. https://bettercotton.org
Indigo is a company dedicated to harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet. With a vision of creating a world where farming is an economically desirable and accessible profession, Indigo works alongside its farmers to apply natural approaches, conserve resources for future generations, and grow healthy food for all. Utilizing beneficial plant microbes to improve crop health and productivity, Indigo’s portfolio is focused on cotton, wheat, corn, soybeans, and rice. The company, founded by Flagship Pioneering, is headquartered in Boston, MA, with additional offices in Memphis, TN, Research Triangle Park, NC, Sydney, Australia, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and São Paulo, Brazil. www.indigoag.com