The Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) proudly announces its launch in Turkey, marking a significant step in uniting players across the organic cotton value chain in this key production country. OCA will deliver its transformative programme designed to support local organic cotton farmers and those interested in transitioning, thereby scaling the global supply of organic cotton. To highlight the launch, OCA is hosting a stakeholder event in Istanbul this week, bringing together key players to discuss the future of organic cotton in the country. 

As the only multistakeholder initiative dedicated to organic cotton, convening close to 60 organisations, OCA will act in Turkey as a dedicated enabler, focusing on capacity building and empowering farmers with essential knowledge to adopt organic agricultural practices. By leveraging its eight years’ experience at the farm level in India and recent work in Pakistan—where it works with more than 100,000 farmers across both countries. OCA is committed to helping create the right conditions for farmers to manage a thriving organic business within Turkey’s agricultural context.  

“We are excited to kick off our work in Turkey with our partners,” said Bart Vollaard, OCA’s executive director. “This marks a significant step in OCA’s commitment to scaling organic cotton globally. As OCA, we connect key players, including farmers, ginners, brands, retailers and civil society organisations, to create market linkages and robust support systems for farmers. To accelerate the growth of organic cotton production, OCA is creating a transparent, responsible, and resilient organic cotton supply chain. One that prioritises farmer prosperity and enables all stakeholders to achieve their sustainability goals. I am thrilled we can offer that support in Turkey now and invite all interested partners to join us on our mission.” 

Before launching in Turkey, OCA has adapted its approach to the local realities, supported by a thorough understanding of the organic business case for Turkish farmers and market insights. OCA’s first local partnerships resulted in the launch of four projects together with 48 farmers. These projects guarantee upfront procurement agreements and premium payments to farmers, while fostering a supportive community of like-minded organic cotton producers. 

Through the promotion and facilitation of regenerative and organic agricultural practices, OCA ensures that cotton farmers can adopt methods that enhance soil health, biodiversity, and overall ecosystem resilience, leading to more sustainable farming. This commitment includes long-term engagements that align with the specific needs of the Turkish cotton farming community. OCA’s systems are designed to uphold high standards of integrity while providing farmers with a compelling business rationale to adopt and maintain organic practices. 

“Organic cotton not only enriches our soil and environment but also provides us with better market opportunities and fair prices,” said Bünyamin Çam one of the farmers working with OCA in Türkiye. “It’s a sustainable path that benefits our community and future generations. We look forward to working with the Organic Cotton Accelerator as we increase our organic cotton production.” 

Recognising Turkey as the world’s second-largest organic cotton producer, OCA aims to accelerate organic cotton production while increasing the visibility of Turkish organic farmers in the global value chain. Its approach is specifically tailored to fit local conditions, addressing farm sizes, economic considerations for farmers, and prevalent management practices. OCA’s efforts are particularly focused on South-Eastern Anatolia and the Aegean region, areas known for their long history of organic production.  

OCA’s approach in Turkey and globally relies on listening to stakeholders and collaboratively developing solutions. By engaging with farmers, suppliers and manufacturers, brands, and other stakeholders, OCA ensures that its initiatives are well-informed and effectively address the needs and challenges of the local organic cotton community.  

Bringing together dozens of key organisations from actors in the country, on June 25, OCA is hosting its first stakeholder event in Turkey. This event will showcase perspectives and experiences from farmers, suppliers, manufacturers, and global brands to underscore and advocate for the importance and potential of organic cotton in the country. Featuring a blend of presentations, panel sessions, and interactive dialogues, attendees will benefit from comprehensive insights and expertise on the organic cotton market in Turkey. 

“Being a partner in the Organic Cotton Accelerator programme in Turkey has enabled us to support farmers in adopting sustainable practices while securing high-quality organic cotton for our products. This collaboration strengthens the entire supply chain and contributes to a healthier planet,” said a representative of Çalık Cotton, one of OCA’s partners in the country. 

OCA welcomes actors from across the value chain to join this transformative journey in Turkey.