University of Delaware

Feb. 26: Distinguished lecture

Challenges in the global organic cotton market to be discussed


9:24 a.m., Feb. 25, 2013--Consumer demand is driving the need to expand the production of organic and more sustainably grown cotton. Including smallholder farmers in this growing market is essential to meeting this demand. But there are many challenges involved in this process.

These challenges will be the focus of a lecture and live webcast scheduled at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 26. The lecture will be presented in 311 Pearson Hall, Studio A, and seating is limited. It also will be broadcast live on the web as part of the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies’ FIBERcast series. 

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The 20th annual June Lecture Series at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UD in Wilmington will be held June 6-9. Titled 'June a la Carte,' this year's program focuses on great political documents, feminism, world politics and a Newark cuisine sampler.

Discussing "Challenges of Including Smallholder Farmers in the Global Organic Cotton Market" will be Heinrich Schultz, managing director for OrganiMark, a leader in organic and sustainability produced products in southern Africa, and Roger Frank, founder and managing director of Innovare Advisors, an investment advisory company specializing in sustainable food and fiber. 

They will address some of the challenges involved in this process and discuss strategies to overcome these obstacles. The challenges addressed include:

· Organizing farmers' associations or cooperatives,

· Training and technical support for farmers,

· Providing organic inputs such as seed and non-synthetic chemical additives,

· Assuring quality and quantity of production,

· Providing traceability and certification,

· Marketing for aggregated suppliers and 

· Financing equipment, storage and processing.

The program is part of the Fashioning Social Responsibility distinguished lecture series, designed to expose a diverse campus and community-wide audience to a range of issues and perspectives associated with social responsibility and sustainability in the fashion industry, with the goal of encouraging positive action.

To listen to the live FIBERcast, register by clicking here. Past FIBERcasts are available as podcasts here

For more information on the lecture series, see the website. For more information, call 302-831-8713 or e-mail

The lecture is co-sponsored by the University’s Office of the Provost; the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies and Center for Science, Ethics and Public Policy in the College of Arts and Sciences; the Department of Applied Economics and Statistics in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; and the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics.

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