External evaluation of assurance scheme for sustainable cotton

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is the leading standard for sustainable production of cotton; it operates in 9 countries worldwide. E4tech conducted an external evaluation of BCI assurance system, which defines the rules and processes used by country managers, implementation partners and independent verifiers to evaluate compliance of cotton producers with BCI standard. The objectives of the evaluation was to assess the extent to which BCI assurance rules and processes are adequately implemented and provide recommendations regarding possible areas of improvements, in line with ISEAL Assurance Code (www.isealalliance.org). In partnership with Jinke Van Dam Consultancy, we developed a systematic review protocol, which included the verification of BCI documentation (producers’ self-assessments, external evaluation by country managers, audit reports), interviews of assurance providers (country managers, implementation partners and independent verifiers) and BCI staff, and a high-level evaluation. E4tech provided BCI with its conclusions and recommendations, which were positively received and implemented.

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