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Listen to the FIBERcast on the global organic cotton market

Click here to listen to the podcast!  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.

In their distinguished lecture and FIBERcast titled "Challenges of Including Smallholder Farmers in the Global Organic Cotton Market," Heinrich Schultz and Roger Frank 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

· Financing equipment, storage and processing

The event will be held at 2:00 pm on February 26 in 311 Pearson Hall, Studio A. Seating is limited. The distinguished lecture will also be broadcast live on the web as part of the Department's FIBERcast series. Click here to register to listen to the live broadcast. Past FIBERcasts are available as podcasts here.

The Fashioning Social Responsibility distinguished lecture series exposes 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 in response to the ideas presented through the series. For more information on the lecture series, see the website. Free to the public. Parking is available at the Perkins Garage. For more information, call 302-831-8713 or e-mail fashion-studies@udel.edu.

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

About the Speakers

Heinrich Schultz, managing director for OrganiMark, is a recognized leader in the field of organic and sustainably produced products in Southern Africa. Over the past 20 years Heinrich qualified himself as supply chain engineering specialist within the global marketplace. He is also the Chairman of the South African Organic Sector Organisation (SAOSO).

OrganiMark is a privately-owned South African supply-chain engineering and trade-management company, established in July 2008, providing end-to-end sourcing of a range of organic and sustainably produced food and fiber commodities for international and regional buyers. The company was started in conjunction with an initiative sponsored by several large South African companies to develop the organic sector in Southern Africa. OrganiMark's core mission is linking high-value markets to organic producers through long-term supply chain partnerships and investments to ensure a consistent offering of fully traceable, sustainably produced products to satisfy the rapidly growing global market.

Roger Frank is the founder and managing director of Innovare Advisors, an investment advisory company specializing in sustainable food and fiber. He has been working on Wall Street for over 25 years in emerging markets, micro-finance and impact investing. As a University of Delaware Blue Hen himself, Roger's interests bring together several program areas within the university—Finance, Entrepreneurship, Agriculture and Sustainability. He is a currently on the Advisory Board for the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies and its Sustainable Apparel Initiative.

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