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Emerald cotton growers: we're proud of our sustainability efforts

Nigel and Beth Burnett own and manage Colorada Cotton in Emerald Queensland, and became myBMP-certified (Best Management Practices) 12 months ago.

The Burnetts spoke to the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) recently, and say they “are proud of our sustainability efforts and believe it is important to promote this for advocacy, social licence and most importantly we want to be part of an industry that is building a reputation of responsible production of fibre for the world market.”

Why is it important for you to communicate about your commitment to growing more sustainable cotton?

“Twelve months ago, our cotton farm became accredited in the Australian Cotton industry’s assurance program, myBMP. Many of the modules we were working through showed we were already achieving sustainability at a high level, however through the process we were able to improve some of our on-farm practices to a greater level. This continuous improvement has become a linchpin for our farming strategy.”

How does being a BCI-licensed grower fit into your overall sustainability goals?

“I am a second-generation cotton grower and now operate our cotton farm with my own family. Our business is built around the sustainable production of cotton, grains and pulses into a future that may also provide a rewarding life for our own children. This objective drives our sustainability goals in our cotton business and we can clearly see how these goals align with the Better Cotton Initiative. We believe in profitable cotton production while providing a safe and secure workplace for our employees and visitors.

Growing the crop centres around the responsible use of our important resources of water and soil while being conscious of the impact our operations may have on our environment. It is particularly important for our business to contribute and add value to our community.”

Why have you chosen to communicate publicly about your affiliation with the Better Cotton Initiative?

We believe in the core values of BCI and also believe our farming business reflects these values strongly. We believe consumers value the sustainable and responsible production of fibre as an important part of their buying decision. As an industry we need to demonstrate our strong sustainability credentials to the consumer so they can make an informed, balanced decision. Therefore, we as growers need to provide the rigour to our sustainably produced natural fibre cotton story by aligning with a reputable, recognisable program such as BCI.”

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