SOORTY ORGANIC COTTON INITIATIVE
An organic Cotton Revolution
SOCI, Soorty Organic Cotton Initiative, was developed by Soorty in partnership with pioneers of organic cotton farming in Pakistan; WWF Pakistan, Department of Agriculture Extension, Balochistan, Organic Cotton Accelerator, with support and input from the Laudes Foundation in 2021.
Through the program, Soorty aims to bring organic farming practices and a better way of life to farmers in the Balochistan region of Pakistan.
SOCI IS A PROJECT OF SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT.
GOAL: Local organic cotton farming to cultivate a carbon sink to improve soil health, and the community’s well-being while delivering a reliable and traceable, value-added product to our supply chain.
1.build capacity for locally grown organic cotton
2.improve soil health
3.improve the local community’s well-being - enhanced livelihoods through financial inclusion as well as vocational training for women
4.designing and maintaining a model to scale
The whole process starts with the farmers, who are trained in issues including organic agriculture, bio-pesticide and bio-fertilizer preparation, and water conservation. The regeneration on the farm builds a positive carbon cycle as horticulture practices are applied. The farming techniques developed use nature as a guide.
SOCI HIGHLIGHTS IN NUMBERS
Soorty launched SOCI in March 2021. The 1st harvest ended in Dec 2021.
850 farmers were recruited initially, this number stands at 1300 today covering 10,000 acres or 4,000 hectares.
Working with partners to provide non-GMO seeds to farmers as well as education and support, in the 2nd year of our harvest we produced 1983 MT of cotton, out of which 727 MT were certified as organic.
Today, in 2023, we have witnessed that the honeybees have returned to the farms, showing that the farms are chemical-free!
We designed a female-centered side program in partnership with DOCH training 25 women per quarter in stitching, and financial literacy and connecting them to global e-markets where they can sell their products.
SOCI IS AN INITIATIVE OF COLLABORATIVE EFFORT.
We talk about SDG17 - partnerships for the goals a lot, but rarely see a comprehensive example. Soorty’s SOCI is one.
OCA accelerates the supply and use of organic cotton, and collaborates with brands and suppliers as a validating body for the transitional process of in-conversion cotton for its industry partners. Runs audits, and is the assurance and regulatory partner in the project.
We provide non-GMO seeds through vendors nominated by WWF. We make sure that the seeds reach the ginning factory safely and do not get mixed up with conventional cotton.
We monitor the quantity picked by each farmer and the ginners pay directly to the farmer. All premium payments are made at the rate set by the Laudes Foundation and audited by OCA.
DOCH is a collective of Balochi Social Entrepreneurs as well as the name of a local, traditional embroidery form. Via our partnership with DOCH, we aim to empower women in the region and help them develop independent access to earnings.
As a digital footprint of the initiative, via our partnership with FarmDar, we will soon be able to monitor organic soil health. We trace each cotton bale to the specific farmer as well as the amount of water, and pesticides used for that bale.
SOCI is certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and OCS (Organic Content Standard).
ORGANIC FARMING - SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES AS MAINSTREAM:
REDUCED CARBON FOOTPRINT,
LESS WATER USE,
LESS WASTE AND POLLUTION,
INCREASED ENERGY EFFICIENCY.