As a part of GOTS’ commitment to constantly upgrade the auditors’ skills for improved quality assurance of GOTS program, GOTS organized the first joint SAI-GOTS Auditor Training Program in Mumbai, India on 5-6 June 2017. The revised GOTS document ‘Approval Conditions for Certification Bodies’ mandates the auditors involved in assessing social compliance aspect of GOTS (Chapter 3) must be qualified as per SAI Basic Auditor Training Course or Equivalent. GOTS and SAI have jointly developed a two day auditor training course for auditing social compliances, which has been deemed equivalent by GOTS.
The first such training in Mumbai was provided by Mr. Badrinath Gulur, Director-Training & Capacity Building, Social Accountability International, USA. It included practical examples from audit experience, role play, technical explanations etc., followed by an examination. The program received wonderful feedback from the attendees (auditors/ certifiers). Five more trainings have been planned in different parts of the world and are expected to be completed by end of year 2017. From GOTS side, the training was attended by: Rahul Bhajekar, Director Standards Development & Quality Assurance, Sumit Gupta, Deputy Director Standards Development & Quality Assurance and Representative in India & Bangladesh, Prachi Gupta, Technical Office Manager India & Bangladesh and Coordinator for SAI-GOTS Training Programmes.
GOTS Pre-Conference to 19th OWC
GOTS will be organizing a 1 day conference with the theme ‘Social Compliance Issues in the Organic Textile Supply Chain’ in New Delhi, India on 8th November 2017. This is being held as an official Pre-Conference to 19th Organic World Congress (OWC) by IFOAM- Organics International. The results/ findings from the GOTS pre-conference shall be presented in Track 7.A of the 19th OWC. This Pre-Conference will help to create and develop successful partnerships for further actions on critical areas in field of social compliances needing urgent action. Conference topics include living wages, labour rights, collective bargaining, health & safety, occupational health hazards etc. For full agenda and more information on conference and registration, please visit the conference website. Social compliances have been an integral part of GOTS since version 1.0 and compliance with the same is verified during GOTS audits. As per year 2016 data, more than 1.4 million workers were working in GOTS certified facilities worldwide. OWC is a series of international conferences organized by International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) held every three years in different parts of the world. 19th OWC is scheduled to be held in Greater Noida, India on 9th- 11th Nov 2017. Track 7.A of the congress is focused on Organic Textiles and Body Care Products and shall discuss ‘Challenges and opportunities for the development of organic textiles and cosmetics’. For more information on the congress, please visit the official OWC website.
Standard Translations and New Licensing and Labelling Guide Released
Translations of new versions of the GOTS Standard; the corresponding Implementation Manual and the Licensing and Labelling Guide are now available on the GOTS website. These translations in Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish help in better understanding requirements in some of the important stakeholder markets for GOTS. The English versions of the respective documents remain the final operative rules.
Organic Cotton & Genetic Modification
While some countries have forbidden the cultivation of GM cotton (such as Turkey) there are others where GM Cotton cultivation has made substantial inroads. Organic Cotton is not expected to contain any genetically modified content. The EU regulation 834/2007 states that Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and products produced from or by GMOs are incompatible with the concept of organic production and consumers' perception of organic products. Recently there have been few cases where some parties have tested certified organic textile products (including those certified to GOTS) and have reported presence of GM contamination at unexpected levels in these products. These alledged findings can be called into question. In the first place, internationally recognised standard test methods do not exist for detection of genetic modification of cotton fibre at this time. GOTS is aware that laboratories currently performing tests are using internally developed test methods. Secondly experts disagree if and in how far testing, carried out at later stages of the processing chain provides reliable results. The more fibres are processed the more difficult it becomes to detect remaining DNA. In a small Round Robin test that we conducted in 2016 laboratories did not show consistent or accurate results on lint cotton. We propose to commission an expanded testing study with the help of external funding where a substantially larger number of samples are tested at seed / lint stages to determine if testing results can be considered reliable and if quantification is indeed possible for cellulosic material. A project has been formulated and is currently under consideration for required funding. Furthermore we suggest that a formalised test method needs to be developed for testing GM matter in cotton fibre, yarn, fabric so that such a method be made widely available for adoption and use by suitably qualified laboratories and the industry. GOTS has taken steps that a process leading to a EN/ISO norm will commence. Please find a detailed GOTS position paperhere for download. IFOAM - Organics International supports the GOTS position on this topic.
Ban on Dynamic Overseas India
Effective 26 June 2017, the GOTS Management decided to institute a 2-year ban on M/s. Dynamic Overseas, Agra, India. The ban was deemed necessary because of the company’s serious violations of GOTS requirements within their production facilities which led to the revocation of their GOTS certificate by their Certifier and their continued non-response in the matter.
In addition, the existing certification ban on Organic Mart, India was extended for a period of one year by the GOTS management, until 9 July 2018.The GOTS management is committed to upholding the spirit and intent of the GOTS certification and takes decisions on such bans after careful consideration of facts and situation.
QR Code for each GOTS public database entry introduced
GOTS' public database is not only a frequently used B2B sourcing instrument. It also enables the consumer to find the GOTS certified operations via the license number on the GOTS labelled products. To make this more comfortable we included the QR Codes of all certified operations in the GOTS Database. They can be downloaded and used on hangtags or packing together with the approved GOTS labelling. By scanning the code the consumer is directly linked to the respective entry in the GOTS Database.
GOTS certified People Wear Organic awarded
People Wear Organic is a pioneer regarding sustainability in the textile industry. The GOTS certified company, producing baby, kids, yoga and relax-fashion was awarded with the Special Mention in the category Fashion at the prestigious German Brand Awards 2017 in Berlin. “The title ‘Special Mention’ acknowledges work for special aspects of brand management - An award that honors the commitment to the competitiveness of German brands” the prize-giving German Design Council explains. This very special title as awarded in a conventional category taking fashion, organic and fair to the same level again proofs the competitiveness of GOTS certified products. Congratulations!
August 24-26:International Organic EXPO, Japan Venue: Yokohama Pacifico. GOTS will be attending with a booth. On August 24th, Japan Representative Satoko Miyoshi will be a speaker for the seminar "Organic Labeling and certification" - 13:30-14:30 On August 26th, Miyoshi will be a speaker for the seminar "GOTS seminar: sharing the story of processing process" - 12:00-13:00 Contact August 31 - September 1: GOTS Training to auditors in Qingdao, China Holiday Inn Qingdao City Centre Contact September 5-7:Munich Fabric Start, Germany GOTS GER/AUS/CH Representative Lina Pfeifer will attend and speak. Contact September 14-16: Asian Foods and Agribussiness Conference: Enhancing Export of Organic Products GOTS Japan Representative Miyoshi will be a speaker at the conference "Non-foods Organic products market: Organic textile" Contact October 11-13: Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics- Autumn Edition 2017 Shanghai, China GOTS China Representative Felicia Shi will feature a booth and a lecture at All About Sustainability Zone Contact October 13: GOTS Regional Roundtable in China will be held at CHIC China-Autumn Edition alongside with the Annual Conference on CSR of Chinese Textile and Apparel Industry in Shanghai, China The CHIC China is a paralleling fashion trade show with The Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics-Autumn Edition 2017. Both of them take place at National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) from 11th October to 13th October 2017. Please stay tuned about GOTS for the further program and invitation of the event. Contact