1.

A multi-stakeholder review of the existing Better Cotton Claims Framework (V1.1) is currently underway with a view to releasing a Claims Framework Version 2.0 early in 2019. This questionnaire will inform the edits we make to provide our members with a new, improved Claims Framework. This stage of the review is limited to claims available to BCI Retailer and Brand Members. Further stages of the review (for additional audiences and member groups) will take place in late 2019.  
 
THANK YOU for taking the time to complete this consultation. You can learn more about the process for the Claims Framework Review here. If you have questions you can contact ellie.gaffney@bettercotton.org, or alternatively, sign up for one of our webinars to complete the questionnaire live, with our support: 
Jan 15, 9:00 AM CET
Jan 16, 12:30 PM CET
Jan 17, 5:00 PM CET
 

Question Title

* Section 1: Eligibility to access claims (both on and off-product)

Q1:
CONTEXT: The Better Cotton Claims Framework currently requires members to meet set eligibility criteria before they have access to use the On-Product Mark (OPM). One element of this criteria is that a 'sourcing threshold' is met. A member must be sourcing at least 5% of their cotton as Better Cotton before being eligible to the use OPM. The member must also have a plan to source at least 25% Better Cotton within 3 years and 50% Better Cotton within 5 years of being approved to use the OPM. The member must also deliver on this plan. We have received feedback that these thresholds are currently too low.

QUESTION: What should the sourcing thresholds be? (Please select one answer)

Question Title

* Q2: CONTEXT: In addition to the sourcing thresholds outlined above, the Better Cotton Claims Framework currently requires members to have been a member for one year before having access to the On-Product Mark. This criterion exists to enable members to implement sourcing cotton as Better Cotton and build commitment with the programme before having access to the On-Product Mark. We are proposing removing this criterion, focusing instead, on whether a member is meeting a specific sourcing threshold.

QUESTION: Do you agree with the proposed approach (to remove this criterion)?

Question Title

* Q3: CONTEXT: Sourcing thresholds are only an eligibility criterion for use of the On-Product Mark. To ensure a member is not perceived to be over-claiming, we are proposing making the sourcing thresholds (as agreed following the outcome of this consultation) an eligibility criterion for additional channels; this could include any claims in a consumer-facing context. 

QUESTION: 
Do you agree that a sourcing threshold should be achieved in order for a member to be able to use BCI communications on:

  Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
The sustainability pages of a members website
In-store marketing (posters, end of merchandising arms, store-front windows etc.)
On-line/new media campaigns (social media, blogs, podcasts etc.)
Print materials (catalogues, leaflets etc)?

Question Title

* Section 2: Communication on-product

Q4:
CONTEXT: We are trying to establish the appropriate level of detail in which a member should talk to consumers about Better Cotton, keeping in mind that claims must be credible as well as appropriate for use in a commercial context. We have heard that the specific terminology 'mass balance', is not, and cannot be expected to be understood by the majority of customers. However, despite this, other sectors are increasingly communicating about this concept. We want to support our members and enable them to be clear about how they are contributing to a more sustainable cotton sector, and equally, we know that brands wish to help consumers make better choices. We're clear that the majority of customers will not differentiate between these types of claims but adding clarity to the claims we permit would mean that the customer who wanted to learn more, could do so with ease.


QUESTION: Should members be required to highlight the mass balance approach if they wish to use the On-Product Mark, and if so, in what manner? (Please select one answer)

Question Title

* Q5: CONTEXT: The context above, in question 4, is also relevant for this question. Please keep it in mind as well as your response to question 4. 

(a) QUESTION: Should BCI permit this claim type for use on product packaging (alongside the BCI logo)? 

Commitment-based claims such as: 
1: We partner with the Better Cotton Initiative to improve cotton farming globally. OR
2: We support more sustainable cotton.

(Please select one answer)

Question Title

* (b) QUESTION: Should BCI permit this claim type for use on product packaging (alongside the BCI logo)? 

Explanation-based claims such as: 

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) trains farmers to care for the environment and implement the principles of decent work.

(Please select one answer)

Question Title

* (c) QUESTION: Should BCI permit this claim type for use on product packaging (alongside the BCI logo)? 

Generic cotton product-based claims such as: 

By buying cotton products from XXX [your company’s name], you’re supporting responsible cotton production through the Better Cotton Initiative. 

(Please select one answer)

Question Title

* (d) QUESTION: Should the below claim be permitted for use on product packaging (alongside the BCI logo)?

Through the Better Cotton Initiative, we have sourced enough sustainable cotton to produce the products on which you see this logo.

Question Title

* (e) QUESTION: Should the below claim be permitted for use on product packaging (alongside the BCI logo)?

This product was sourced as more sustainable cotton. BCI Farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we source.

Question Title

* (f) QUESTION: Should the below claim be permitted for use on product packaging (alongside the BCI logo)?

By buying this product, you're supporting more sustainable cotton farming practices through the Better Cotton Initiative. Product sourced via a system of mass balance.

Question Title

* (g) QUESTION: Should the below claim be permitted for use on product packaging (alongside the BCI logo)?

This product was sourced via a system of mass balance.

Question Title

* Q6: CONTEXT: The On-Product Mark is simply a claim about a member's commitment to BCI, shared via one available channel; the product packaging. We allow members to decide on which products they will use the On-Product Mark and define why. For example, a member may decide to use the On-Product Mark across a specific product range or, alternatively, only on products used as a vehicle to source cotton as Better Cotton. Under the existing Framework, once a member meets the eligibility criteria (including sourcing threshold), the On-Product Mark can be used on as many products as a member wishes.

(a) QUESTION:  Should BCI define on which products the On-Product Mark can be used? (Please select one answer)

Question Title

* Q6: CONTEXT: In relation to product types eligible to feature the On-Product Mark, BCI's existing guidelines state that the 'On-Product Mark can be used on any product where the fabric component of that product contains at least 50% cotton.' For example, a Member could use the On-Product Mark on a 100% cotton sock, or a 5O/50 cotton/polyester bedsheet. A Member could also use the On-Product Markon a PVC shoe or a leather handbag, providing the fabric components of the products were at least 50% cotton.  

(b) QUESTION:  Should BCI continue to set a minimum requirement for the cotton content of products on which the On-Product Mark can feature? (Please select one answer)

Question Title

* Q7: CONTEXT: There are some instances when members use messaging on a product that implies Better Cotton without using the On-Product Mark. For example, a swing tag might say, 'Product made with cotton from farmers that use water efficiently and minimise the application of harmful chemicals'.

QUESTION:  If a member uses the product to communicate about their more sustainable cotton sourcing practices without using the BCI logo or mentioning BCI, but with messaging that describes BCI, should we intervene? (Please select one answer)

Question Title

* Q8: CONTEXT: There are further instances when members use messaging on a product that implies Better Cotton without using the On-Product Mark. This is done by creating generic sustainability branding which covers multiple sustainable product attributes (from physically traced sustainable materials to mass balance sourced BCI). For example, a swing tag might say, 'Green Choice' and be applied to all products that a brand deems as such.

QUESTION: If a member uses the product to communicate about their more sustainable cotton sourcing practices without using the BCI logo, but with generic branding which covers cotton sourced as Better Cotton, should we intervene? (Please select one answer)

Question Title

* Section 3: Defining misleading claims

Q9:
CONTEXT: EU legislation defines misleading claims as 'claims that deceive or are likely to deceive the average consumer, even if the information contained therein is factually correct'. BCI defines claims which imply physically traceable Better Cotton content in the end product as misleading claims. We do not approve claims which we define to be misleading, and we issue 'corrective action plans' to members who make misleading claims. However, there is an element of subjectivity in determining which communications 'imply' physical content, and consumers' opinions may differ. We want to more clearly define what is acceptable in order to take subjectivity away from our approvals and corrective action plan processes.

QUESTION:  If used in conjunction with the BCI On-Product Mark which of the below (if any), are misleading and to what degree?

  Extremely misleading Somewhat misleading Misleading unless paired with a claim offering further clarity Not misleading
A title on packaging reading 'Sustainably Sourced'.
A title on the packaging reading 'Better Cotton'.
A title on the packaging reading 'Sustainable Cotton'.

Question Title

* Q10: CONTEXT: Misleading claims are not restricted to those made on product packaging. Other communications channels also pose the same challenge as outlined above.

QUESTION: Which of the below (if any), are misleading and to what degree?

  Extremely misleading Somewhat misleading Misleading unless paired with a claim offering further clarity Not misleading
An in-store poster with an image of a cotton product and the words 'sustainably sourced cotton'.
An in-store poster with the words 'we only use sustainable cotton' positioned above product utilising the BCI On-Product Mark.
A press release including the sentence 'all of the cotton for our ladies t-shirts is now sourced sustainably'.

Question Title

* Section 4: Implementation of new guidelines

Q11:
CONTEXT BCI recognises that when the revised Claims Framework is released, Retailer and Brand Members must have adequate time to integrate the new guidelines into their marketing and communications activities. In the case of the on-product mark, logistical and cost implications related to packaging are important factors to consider.

(a) QUESTION: How much time should Retailer and Brand Members be given to adopt changes to the on-product mark? (Please select one answer)

Question Title

* (b) QUESTION: How much time should Retailer and Brand Members be given to adopt the revised guidelines for channels other than the product? (Please select one answer)

Question Title

* Thank you for sharing your thoughts. To assist us as we analyse the survey responses, please leave a few details below.

Name

Question Title

* Membership Type

Question Title

* Company / Organisation

Question Title

* Role

T