Organic growers lament lack of local mills

“Consumers are getting much savvier about the toxins which remain in fabrics after processing,” Mr Byl said.

“I want to promote Australian organic cotton.

“Currently, most organic cotton is sourced from India, Turkey and Africa.”

He says support should be provided for Australian cotton producers to encourage them to convert to chemical free.

“Without assistance, there are problems faced initially by Australian cotton producers competing on the open world market against products from less developed markets,” he said.

“In comparison, the cost of Australian organic cotton is high – but can still be made viable.”

The Organic Advantage also quotes Alexander Fawcett, from Edgeroi Organics, Narrabri, NSW, who produced what remains one of the only certified organic cotton crops in 2006.

He says producing the 80-hectare trial had its challenges, but the main restrictor was the expense of the cotton process overall, which ate into profit margins.

“There are a lot of steps in getting cotton off farm and into a final piece of fabric,” Mr Fawcett said.

“Organic cotton generally has to be sent to India or Indonesia to be spun and woven, and it’s an expensive system”

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