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BUSINESS: 157 PRACTICES
The certification program for cotton production with sustainable farming practices, entitled Certified Sustainable FiberMax® (CSF) program of BASF, certifies, controls and promotes the cotton, the fiber and the yarn that are produced from FiberMax® cotton varieties, through environmentally friendly, economically viable and socially equitable practices, thus supporting the Greek farmer and the whole cotton value chain.
The aim of the CSF program is to create a branded, high added value cotton, fiber and yarn, that meets consumers demands for traceability and sustainability, and contributing at the quality upgrade of the Greek cotton and yarn, from which everyone would benefit.
The CSF certification program targets the whole cotton value chain: from the seed producer, the farmer, the ginning company, to the spinning mill, the knitting-weaving plant, up to the textile and garment industry.
The CSF program is an ongoing project that has begun in 2015 and will continue in the future.
The objective of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals is to make agriculture more sustainable by 2030. In this context, there is a global trend for traceability and sustainability in the cotton value chain, which has led the branded textile industry to use more sustainable cotton in their production processes.
Moreover, in the era of “Fashion revolution”, where consumers demand environmentally friendly farming, the CSF program meets the consumers’ needs and contributes in making the consumers more aware of the value of cotton production with sustainable farming practices.
In Greece, the cotton crop plays a key role for the Greek economy. BASF has an holistic approach, providing solutions from the start until the end of the production. By having in its portfolio the superior quality of FiberMax® cotton seed varieties, by investing in the research and development of new germplasm and by having an excellent team, BASF aims at giving a new dynamic in the cotton production.
Moreover, BASF offers the certification program for cotton production with sustainable farming practices, entitled Certified Sustainable FiberMax® (CSF). The CSF program started very successfully in 2015, with 291 participant farmers and 2170Ha of participating cotton fields. In 2018, these numbers were increased to 1838 farmers and 12610Ha of CSF fields. Additionally, five Greek ginning companies and two spinning mills (on a pilot phase) are also participating in the program.
By participating in the CSF program of BASF, the cotton growers, the ginning companies and the spinning mills are committed to adopt the 3 sustainability principles: cotton production through environmentally friendly, economically viable and socially equitable practices.
The cotton grower is applying the CSF protocol, that includes control points and compliance criteria such as: optimizing water consumption, soil health management, optimizing crop protection and fertilization, safe use of crop protection products, workers welfare and other farming practices, aiming at ensuring soil fertility and safeguarding our natural resources.
The ginning companies are applying the CSF protocol, that includes control points regarding traceability, working conditions, environmental management, organization and sets compliance criteria such as, for instance, improving the energy efficiency in the facilities and participating in waste exploitation or waste recycling programs.
For the implementation of the program, BASF cooperates with two certification companies, Aeiforiki S.A. and Novacert S.A. and for the inspection with QMSCERT, an independent auditors/inspectors company.
By adopting the CSF sustainable cotton farming practices in the field, the farmer reduces the use of available resources/inputs, while maintaining productivity of the farming operation at a competitive and viable level, therefore, remaining consistently profitable and financially competitive, while he takes into consideration the working and living conditions and the remuneration benefits of the farm workers.
Additionally, the farmer receives from the Ginner a 5% premium on the standard commercial price for the produced CSF cotton, in exchange for having followed the CSF program for sustainable cotton.
Finally, the CSF program meets the consumers demands for an environmentally friendly agriculture, as well as for transparent practices throughout the production processes.
Indicatively, we can mention some environmental indexes for the whole 12610Ha of CSF fields cultivated in 2018:
Ecological Focus Areas (E.F.A.): 15% of farmers manage part of their crops as E.F.A.
Fertilization: 42% οf farmers apply slow release fertilizers.
51.9% is done with drip irrigation
35.5% is done with pivot
12.6% is done with other means like sprinkler and rocket
Herbicides applications/ Crop protection:
1,4 average number of herbicide applications per parcel
2,1 average number of insecticide applications per parcel
70% of farmers apply crop rotation
Main cotton growing areas of Greece, i.e. Thessaly and Thrace.
1.838 cotton growers
5 Greek ginning companies:
· Thrakika Ginning Industry S.A.
· VIOLAR ginning industry S.A.
· Karagiorgos Bros ginning industry S.A.
· K.B. Markou ginning industry S.A.
· E.A.S. Trikalon ginning industry S.A.
2 spinning mills: THRACE SPINNING MILLS S.A., Varvaressos S.A.
2 implementation companies: Aeiforiki S.A. and Novacert S.A
1 auditors/inspectors company: QMSCERT
Employees of BASF Hellas S.A. seeds unit
For BASF, sustainability is an integral part of our corporate strategy and our organization. We want to contribute to a world that provides a viable future with enhanced quality for all.
With CSF, we apply our sustainability strategy, by offering a comprehensive approach for the needs of the cotton market, by combining quality, sustainability and brand awareness while, at the same time, strengthen our market position.