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Traceability in Chetna Organic

 
“Transparently Organic” is how Chetna Organic describes its cotton. We have a rather stringent system for ensuring non-contamination of organic cotton and a unique traceability systems that ensures that what you get as ‘Organic Cotton’ is really Organic. We call it tracking the DNA of cotton.
 
Chetna Organic’s assurance of organic is based on two pillars – (i) Stringent and bias-free monitoring systems and (ii) Elaborate documentation to ensure traceability.
 

STRINGENT AND BIAS FREE MONITORING

  1. Traceability 10Stringent internal compliance standards. Chetna Organic follows some of the most stringent internal compliance standards to minimize any incidence of contamination with non-organic cotton. For instance, while the established standards allows for parallel production of organic and non-organic cotton, Chetna Organic understands the inherent risks in handling of such cotton and hence bars it for its farmers.

     

  2. Traceability 8Focus on comprehensive peer to peer internal inspections. A focus on comprehensive peer to peer internal inspections ensures unbiased monitoring as well as helps us conduct an exhaustive review of the compliance levels of its farmers, identity and rectify potential dropouts in the systems.

     

     

  3. Traceability 16Exhaustive and continuous technical extension offsets the rigor in internal standards. While complying with stringent internal standards is no doubt a rigorous process, Chetna Organic farmers stand to gain from the exhaustive and continuous technical support they get across the cotton cycle on issues such as soil fertility management, organic pest management, in-house making of composts etc. Such support helps improve yields as well as make farmers more self reliant on agri-inputs thus helps in better incomes.
     
  4. Traceability 12Farmer managed approval committee helps eliminates bias. The cluster level approval committee plays a key role in maintaining sanctity of a project. At Chetna Organic, all approval committees include only small and marginal farmers who personally have no direct benefit (economic or otherwise) from certifying a farmer/group of farmers as compliant or otherwise. This helps maintain the unbiased nature of decision-making as members are naturally likely to be unbiased in absence of a personal gain.
     

ELABORATE TRACEABILITY SYSTEM

  1. Traceability 13Emphasis of transportation of cotton in bags with individual labels mentioning details of the farmer. Farmer groups are issued bags based on the expected yield, which is used to pack the produce, post harvest. Emphasis is on cotton cloth bags to avoid foreign fibre contamination. Each bag is labeled and contains detailed information about the supplies farmer such as ‘Name’, ‘Village‘, ‘SHG Name’, ‘Unique Farmer Code’, ‘Organic Status’, ‘Staple Length’, ‘Seed Variety’, ‘Moisture Content’ etc. Furthermore, cotton at different stages of organic compliance is labeled in different colors. For instance, Green coloured labels are attached to the bags containing organic cotton, while IC2 and IC1 cotton is labeled with blue and red coloured labels respectively. Such a system not only helps trace cotton to the supplier farmer but also helps assess the cotton as well as maintain segregation during the ginning process. This process is far from the practice of bringing cotton in open trucks, as followed in the case of conventional cotton.
     
  2. Traceability 11Maintaining detailed farmer diaries and tallying cotton arrivals with farmer details captured earlier. Farm diaries are like the biography of a farmer’s cotton in a year. It contains details of every practice followed by farmer, its date, expected results and actual results. Information such as cultivation area, seed variety used, expected yield, no of pickings etc help set expectation levels for each farmer’s produce and tallying them at village procurement point helps check contamination and maintain traceability.
     
  3. Traceability 14Location wise and staple wise heaping at Gins, help trace the finishing product. Each batch of cotton that comes in is allotted a lot number and the movement of each lot number is tracked in detail. Similarly, cotton of specific staples lengths are segregated in separate heaps as per the locations from where they are procured. So for instance cotton from Akola district (Maharashtra) does not get mixed with Amravati district (also Maharashtra), though both may get ginned at the same facility. The cotton is also taken up for ginning and pressing in separate and sequential batches which helps ensure traceability for each bale as per its location as well as variety used. Each bale is numbered with a unique number (Bale Press Running Number) and is traceable to its location given the past data collected for it.
     
  4. Traceability 3Chetna Organic on Tracenet is the ultimate proof of its traceability.  Chetna Organic works with closely with ‘Made-By’, which is an umbrella label based in the UK and Netherlands that works with brands to help them move towards improving sustainability in their procurement. Made-By brands subscribe to a traceability system called as ‘Track &Trace’ – a unique tracing program which captures lot numbers and consignment numbers at each stage to trace origins of a cotton product. Chetna Organic is a preferred supplier to most Made-By Brands – such as jackpot, Fair N Co, Mimpi, etc – and its systems are geared to facilitate such a track and trace.

 

 

 

 

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