New GOTS cotton anti-fraud rules intensify in India – Sourcing Journal

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The global standard for organic textiles (GOTS), a holistic standard that sets comprehensive and stringent requirements to ensure transparent and traceable processing of organic textiles from field to finished product, has significantly raised the requirements for GOTS-approved cotton gins.

These include the introduction of a compulsory register of agricultural ginning for all farms and groups of farms whose certified raw material enters the GOTS system, including information on agricultural yields. The register will be set up gradually, from India.

Moreover, raw cotton is not allowed to travel more than 500 kilometers from farm to certified gin. GOTS said the shorter trade chain protects vulnerabilities and optimizes the process for buyers. The third element involves an increase in unannounced audits of ginneries where there is a strong perception of risk.

GOTS said these new requirements are in addition to the numerous checks and balances already carried out at each stage of processing. Seed cotton entering the GOTS supply chain is tested for the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), in accordance with the applicable ISO protocol. GOTS approved Certificate Agencies include additional tests such as pesticide residues and are allowed to reject materials that do not meet GOTS requirements. In addition, before certification bodies issue a Transaction Certificate (TC), GOTS requires a thorough assessment to take place, including a plausibility check in the form of a volume reconciliation.

To reinforce integrity and traceability, GOTS also stipulates that the Farm TC number appears on the first GOTS TC at the gin, which is the first step for cotton in the GOTS supply chain. The TC must indicate the origin of the raw material, including region, state and province. This allows the material to be traced efficiently in the field and adds another layer of accountability to the GOTS certified fiber. It also supports all buyers in their purchasing decisions.

“GOTS has always been a dynamic standard, growing and expanding to be stronger and more efficient all the time,” said GOTS Managing Director Rahul Bhajekar. “We look forward to these new rules further strengthening GOTS against potential fraud.”

GOTS also coordinates its efforts with other key players to support the integrity of organic textiles. Since GOTS provides certification of the first processing steps to the Textile Exchange Organic Content Standard (OCS), the two organizations discussed new requirements for the OCS during their development. GOTS supports these requirements as they provide a dual shield of protection for materials entering GOTS or OCS supply chains, while maintaining necessary data confidentiality.

The new requirements will help to increase traceability and transparency throughout the organic textiles sector, which are among the main objectives of GOTS. No changes are needed to the GOTS requirements regarding the new OCS rules.

GOTS is the strict voluntary global standard for all post-harvest processing, including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing, of garments and home textiles made with certified organic fibers such as organic cotton and organic wool, and includes environmental and social criteria. . Key provisions include banning the use of genetically modified GMOs, highly hazardous chemicals and child labor, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict wastewater treatment practices.

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