The Foundation: Responsible for the Cotton made in Africa Initiative

Bild Dr.Otto in AfrikaCotton made in Africa is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation which Dr. Michael Otto established in 2005 based on the conviction that only by sustainble development the livelihoods of future generations and vital resources can be protected. Originally the foundation was named "Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry in Developing Countries" (FSAF). In 2007, the foundation changed its name to "Aid by Trade Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry". Its mission is to promote environmental protection and to improve the living conditions in developing countries. 

stiftungsaufbau-DWith the support of various partners from industry, government, research, and NGOs, the foundation focuses on aid by trade. Beyond supporting sustainable cultivation of agricultural and forestry products, the long-term aim is to further develop the value chains in those countries where the raw materials are produced in order to generate maximum added value. Africa is thus the foundation's first regional promotion focus. With its Cotton made in Africa initiative, the foundation strives to implement its goal of helping people help themselves through trade. The main leverage for this is currently the COMPACI program in which the foundation plays a major role. The Aid by Trade Foundation is a non-profit organization and pursues charitable aims.

The Board of Trustees: The Foundation's Decision-Making Body 

The Board of Trustees of the Aid by Trade Foundation is staffed with internationally leading figures from NGOs, the public sector, and trade. Its purpose is to ensure that the foundation's main objectives are implemented.

The board of trustees consists of at least 6 and at most 12 members, chaired by Dr. Michael Otto and his representative, M. Bruno Wenn, (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft). The first members of the panel were appointed by the founder of the Aid by Trade Foundation, Dr. Michael Otto. New members are nominated by the AbTF Management and elected for a term of two years by the current Board of Trustees. Members may be re-elected for additional terms. The management of the foundation drafts a report about the activities of the foundation to the Board of Trustees twice a year and presents its future plans.

Dr. Michael Otto

 

Dr. Michael Otto

Chairman of the Board of Trustees / Chairman of Supervisory Board Otto Group

“Cotton made in Africa is innovative, because it activates market forces and creates an ongoing win-win situation for all players at all stages of the value chain – from cotton farmers to consumers.”

Bruno Wenn

Bruno Wenn

Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees / Spokesman of the Management Board Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG)

“The Aid by Trade Foundation supports very successfully hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers in Africa to improve cotton production so that they can generate an adequate income. By means of this entrepreneurial approach the living conditions of the people can be improved sustainably. That fits in perfectly with the mission of DEG to promote sustainable economic and social development by financing private companies. And we as DEG contribute to the work of the Aid by Trade Foundation our experience with projects of cotton cultivation in Africa and the financing of textile companies worldwide.”

Eberhard Brandes

 

Eberhard Brandes

Managing Director WWF Germany

“Our goal is to stop the global destruction of natural resources and the environment, and to create a future where humankind and nature can live together in harmony. What we want is effective action for conservation of nature and protection of the environment, coupled with sustainable development of the African countries – that is why we are promoting sustainable business activities. Cotton made in Africa is designed both to link cotton farmers in Benin and consumers in Europe via trade, and to ensure sustainable management of the land.”

Nick Earlam

 

Nicholas Earlam

Executive Chairman and Owner Plexus Cotton Ltd.

„Cotton made in Africa offers the opportunity to build value and strength to all stages of the cotton value chain whilst respecting the ideals and integrity of the participants within it. It is a visionary project that recognises the changing face of the African continent and one that will help the countries within the programme to build their own economies in a sustainable manner.“

Olaf Gieseler

 

Olaf Gieseler

Managing Director CURATAX Treuhand GmbH Steuerberatungsgesellschaft

“Cotton made in Africa is a useful, innovative initiative. I am delighted to be able to make a contribution to setting up the legal and fiscal conditions for it, and to help in the internal organisation of Cotton made in Africa.”

Baroness Lola Young

Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey

Member of the House of Lords EU Committee on Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion

"Joining the board is a chance for me to be even more involved in the work of the Aid by Trade Foundation. Since I visited Zambia in 2011, it has become even clearer to me why it is so important to fight for sustainable raw materials in fashion. Even small changes in the way consumers and producers think can have a positive and very concrete effect on the lives of local people.”

Dr. Wolfgang Jamann

Dr. Wolfgang Jamann

Secretary General/CEO CARE International

“I am pleased to be a member of the Board of Trustees of CmiA, because I firmly believe that the only way to overcome hunger and poverty in Africa is for NGOs to work alongside government development organisations, companies and businesses, in accordance with social and environmental criteria, for active support to smallholder farmers in the third world. It is also vital for us to change our behaviour as consumers; production and purchasing of clothing made from CmiA cotton is a great opportunity for us to do that. The work in the Foundation is an enrichment because we are working across the dividing lines of the various sectors, and getting into discussion with one another."

Dr. Johannes Merck

 

Dr. Johannes Merck

Director Cooperate Responsability Otto Group

"Cotton made in Africa stands for new and successful ways in development cooperation as well as an innovative and trend-setting initiative within the Corporate Responsibility commitment of textile companies. Economic principles are relevant for the work of Cotton made Africa, because the aim of the initiative is to help people help themselves, mobilize market forces and take into account the rules of the market. Thereby, Cotton made in Africa gives access to knowledge and education to those people for whom these goods were previously unavailable."

Andreas Proksch

Andreas Proksch

Head of Africa Department for Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

“The reasons for my commitment to Cotton made in Africa and the Aid by Trade Foundation? I want to support cotton producers in Africa, that is the low-income smallholder farmers and their families, and help them to live a better life – not by making donations, but by integrating them in an economic cycle, and giving them fair prices for good products. And I want to help enabling us in the industrialised countries to buy products that were manufactured under sustainable ecological and social conditions. The work of the Aid by Trade Foundation meets both these requirements – it creates links between producers and consumers in a virtual network of responsible action.”

Mahmoud Rajan

Majmoud Rajan

Réseau Aga Khan de développement (AKDN)

"Joining the Board of Trustees is a unique opportunity to participate to an initiative that contributes to the improvement of the welfare and prospects of cotton growers in Africa. The Aid by Trade Foundation promotes entrepreneurship and gives the unique opportunity to farmers to integrate economically sound activities. The Foundation’s activities fit perfectly well with AKDN's (Aga Khan Development Network) overall goal which is the improvement of the Quality of Life (not just fight against poverty) of developing countries’ populations. Both initiatives are looking for the improvement in the material standard of living, health, education and values and norms in the organisation of a society." 

Bild Uwe Schröder

 

Uwe Schröder

Honorary member of the Board of Trustees / Chairman of the Advisory Board Tom Tailor Holding AG

“Every partnership is made up of giving and receiving. In this case we can really achieve something by giving – with long-term effect. In return, we get high quality cotton produced by ecological methods. That is the key principle of the AbT Foundation – giving long-term support by means of aid.”

James Shikwati

 

James Shikwati

Director of Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) Kenya

"I applaud Cotton Made in Africa’s effort to involve African farmers in value added exchange of products with European markets.“

Till Wahnbaeck

Dr. Till Wahnbaeck

Chairman of the Management Board of Welthungerhilfe

"Smallholder cotton producers in Africa need a living wage and decent working conditions in order to overcome hunger and poverty. Cotton made in Africa provides an important basis for this - especially by means of establishing the cooperation between different partners from industry and development cooperation. In the fight against the increasing inequality social, ecological and economic sustainability is of key importance.”

 

 

The Advisory Board: Providing Expertise and Advice for the Initiative

The Advisory Board of Cotton made in Africa is staffed with internationally renowned representatives of various interest groups:  NGOs, textile companies, cotton companies, and government as well as private funding organizations bring different perspectives and experience. Their different areas of expertise makes the Advisory Board a key discussion partner and advisor to the management:

Cotton Industry

Government Organizations

  • BIMECO Garnhandel GmbH & Co. KG
  • Plexus Cotton
  • Industries Cotonnière Associées (ICA-GIE)
  • Ivoire Coton S.A. 
  • German International Cooperation (GIZ)
  • Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG) 

Foundations and NGOs

 Textile Companies

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. (NABU)
  • Welthungerhilfe (WHH)
  • WWF Deutschland
  • Otto (GmbH & Co KG)
  • Rewe Group
  • Tchibo GmbH

The Management Board Guides the Foundation's Work

The overall responsibility for the initiative Cotton made in Africa is shared by the Aid by Trade Foundation and the management of the ATAKORA Fördergesellschaft GmbH which is responsible for marketing the rights of the Cotton made in Africa brand.
The management of the Aid by Trade Foundation is appointed for a term of two years. Re-appointment is permitted. The appointment of the management may be revoked by providing good cause before expiration of the term of office by a resolution of the Board of Trustees.

T.Stridde

Tina Stridde

Aid by Trade Foundation

Managing Director

Bramfelder Chaussee 105
22177 Hamburg

Portraet Christoph Kaut

Christoph Kaut

Aid by Trade Foundation 

Managing Director

Bramfelder Chaussee 105
22177 Hamburg

Portraet Christian Barthel

Christian Barthel

ATAKORA GmbH

Managing Director
Director Supply Chain

Palms Residence,
Istanbul Cad. G Blok D. 20
34077 Göktürk – ISTANBUL / Turkey

S.Kleinewiese

Sabine Kleinewiese

ATAKORA GmbH

Managing Director
Director Finance & Legal

Bramfelder Chaussee 105
22177 Hamburg

Competitive African Cotton Initiative - Leverage of the Foundation's Work

The Competitive African Cotton Initiative (COMPACI) is responsible for financing contracts with the African partners as well as for imparting technical know-how. It was founded in 2005 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) due to the success of the pilot phase of Cotton made in Africa. DEG (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, KfW Bankengruppe) and GIZ (German International Cooperation) are engaged with the implementation of the program. Besides the Aid by Trade Foundation they are represented in the Management Board of the initiative. COMPACI is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Aid by Trade Foundation, the Gatsby Foundation and Walmart.

Cotton Companies - Local Partners

The cooperating cotton companies are responsible for the cultivation according to the CmiA standards. Contracts with COMPACI and AbTF to co-finance the activities ensure compliance with the standard criteria. Please find here the list of participating cotton companies.

Textile Companies - A Demand Alliance for African Cotton

The partners of the Demand Alliance explicitly ask for African cotton produced according to CmiA standards. They buy the sustainably grown cotton and pay a license fee to the foundation. The license fees are directly reinvested to benefit smallholder farmers in the project countries. To obtain the verified cotton, retailers conclude individual contracts with the ATAKORA Fördergesellschaft. Currently more than 25 textile companies and fashion brands are partnering with CmiA. Get to know how to become a partner here.

Contact

Aid by Trade Foundation

Cotton made in Africa
Bramfelder Chaussee 105
22177 Hamburg
Germany

Tel.: +49 (0)40 - 6461 - 7971
Fax: +49 (0)40 - 6461 - 1009

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