In order to emphasize the economy’s responsibility for a global sustainable development as well as to implement it in a practical way, in 2005 Dr Michael Otto, chairman of the board of directors of the Otto Group, founded the “Aid by Trade Foundation” (AbTF). The exclusive aim of the foundation is to promote sustainable cultivation of agricultural and forestry products in developing countries and increase the demand for these products. The latest project is a public-private partnership called “Cotton made in Africa“ (CmiA). Within the project, governmental organisations such as the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) ally with the non-governmental organisations WWF, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V. and Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU) as well as important commercial enterprises in order to promote the sales of cotton that is cultivated in a sustainable way by African small-scale farmers.
As to pass common standards on the production of “Cotton made in Africa”, the AbTF together with the GTZ and the DEG invited the most important actors in this venture to Hamburg in December 2008. About 40 representatives of the different involved production sectors – from cultivation and treatment of the cotton to distribution – and from the involved countries – Africa, Great Britain, Switzerland and Germany – attended the three-day-event. At the opening ceremony, which started with a warm welcome to all participants, the future sponsorship of CmiA by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was announced. The following two days were characterized by all-day work units introducing a draft on the standards developed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and accompanying workshops providing time and space to discuss and finalize the paper. The official daytime-program was complemented by enjoyable dinners and a collective harbour boat trip.
Organisation, consultancy, realisation, mentoring of the participants