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Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of the Aid by Trade Foundation includes leading personalities from environmental associations, scientific institutions and business companies. It ensures long-term pursuit of the overall goals of the Foundation, that is improvement of the social conditions in Africa and promotion of environmental protection.

Dr. Michael Otto

Dr. Michael OttoChairman of the Board of Trustees,
Chairman of Supervisory Board of the Otto Group

“Cotton made in Africa is innovative, because it activates market forces and creates an ongoing win-win situation for all players at all stages of the value chain – from cotton farmers to consumers.”

Dr. Michael Bornmann

Dr. Michael BornmannDeputy Chairman of Board of Trustees,
Member of Management Board of Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG)

“The Aid by Trade Foundation aims to help people in Africa to earn a reasonable income using their own resources. “Cotton made in Africa” works with hundreds of thousands of cotton farmers for the introduction of sustainable production methods. That fits in perfectly with the mission of DEG as a development financing agency to promote meaningful investments by private companies, in order to help achieve better conditions of life in developing countries. We contribute to these efforts, drawing on our decades of experience with cotton projects in Africa – for high-quality competitive cotton, giving income and perspectives to as many people as possible.”
Eberhard Brandes

Eberhard BrandesManaging Director WWF Germany

“Our goal is to stop the global destruction of natural resources and the environment, and to create a future where humankind and nature can live together in harmony. What we want is effective action for conservation of nature and protection of the environment, coupled with sustainable development of the African countries – that is why we are promoting sustainable business activities. Cotton made in Africa is designed both to link cotton farmers in Benin and consumers in Europe via trade, and to ensure sustainable management of the land.”

Nicholas Earlam

Nicholas EarlamExecutive Chairman and Owner of Plexus Cotton Ltd.

Cotton made in Africa offers the opportunity to build value and strength to all stages of the cotton value chain whilst respecting the ideals and integrity of the participants within it. It is a visionary project that recognises the changing face of the African continent and one that will help the countries within the programme to build their own economies in a sustainable manner.

Olaf Gieseler

Olaf GieselerManaging Director CURATAX Treuhand GmbH Steuerberatungsgesellschaft

“Cotton made in Africa is a useful, innovative initiative. I am delighted to be able to make a contribution to setting up the legal and fiscal conditions for it, and to help in the internal organisation of Cotton made in Africa.”

Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey

Baroness Lola Young of HornseyMember of the House of Lords EU Committee on Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion

"Joining the board is a chance for me to be even more involved in the work of the Aid by Trade Foundation. Since I visited Zambia in 2011, it has become even clearer to me why it is so important to fight for sustainable raw materials in fashion. Even small changes in the way consumers and producers think can have a positive and very concrete effect on the lives of local people.”  
Dr. Wolfgang Jamann

Dr. Wolfgang JamannChairman of Management Board and Secretary General of Welthungerhilfe

“I am pleased to be a member of the Board of Trustees of CmiA, because I firmly believe that the only way to overcome hunger and poverty in Africa is for NGOs to work alongside government development organisations, companies and businesses, in accordance with social and environmental criteria, for active support to smallholder farmers in the third world. It is also vital for us to change our behaviour as consumers; production and purchasing of clothing made from CmiA cotton is a great opportunity for us to do that. The work in the Foundation is an enrichment because we are working across the dividing lines of the various sectors, and getting into discussion with one another.
Ibrahim Malloum

Ibrahim MalloumHonorary President and member of the Executive Board of ACA

“The cotton sector in Africa needs a partnership that respects the values and cultures of each partner. That is what the initiative Cotton made in Africa embodies. I am completely attached to its esprit and approach. CmiA enables the cotton farmers to increase their yields, strengthens the capacities of the cotton growers and improves the quality of the fiber. That are necessary measures in order to reinforce the purchasing power of the farmers. I think that this is exactly the way towards a sustainable development.”
Janina Otto

Janina OttoDirector Ana Kwa Ana Foundation

“Cotton made in Africa does not create new relations of dependency – it takes new paths in development aid, which helps all the stakeholders involved. For me it is really exciting to accompany the development along this road.”

Andreas Proksch

Andreas ProkschHead of Africa Department, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

“The reasons for my commitment to Cotton made in Africa and the Aid by Trade Foundation? I want to support cotton producers in Africa, that is the low-income smallholder farmers and their families, and help them to live a better life – not by making donations, but by integrating them in an economic cycle, and giving them fair prices for good products. And I want to help enabling us in the industrialised countries to buy products that were manufactured under sustainable ecological and social conditions. The work of the Aid by Trade Foundation meets both these requirements – it creates links between producers and consumers in a virtual network of responsible action.”

Uwe Schröder

Uwe SchröderHonorary member of the Board of Trustees,
Chairman of Advisory Board Tom Tailor Holding AG

“Every partnership is made up of giving and receiving. In this case we can really achieve something by giving – with long-term effect. In return, we get high quality cotton produced by ecological methods. That is the key principle of the AbT Foundation – giving long-term support by means of aid.”

James Shikwati

James ShikwatiDirector of Inter Region Economic Network (IREN Kenya)

I applaud Cotton Made In Africa’s effort to involve African farmers in value added exchange of products with European markets


Teaser Milestones

Why do you support CmiA?Statements by business managers

More than 20 companies from the clothing sector are currently partners of the international Demand Alliance of Cotton made in Africa. Their reasons for joining the initiative vary widely, ranging from the good quality of African cotton to the idea of sustainability, to an authenticity bonus for their products.

Helping people to help themselvesWin-win situation for clothing suppliers and cotton farmers

Cotton made in Africa works on the principles of a social business. That means the initiative operates in accordance with sound business methods, except that is it does not aim to maximise the profits of individuals, but rather to improve the conditions of life of a large number of African cotton farmers ...