4 Apr 2016

Chetna project:

a better life for cotton farmers

Nederhorst den Berg, April 5, 2016 – Through the unique Chetna project, Dibella, Blycolin and Lamme Textielbeheer show that horizontal and vertical chain cooperation is possible and profitable for all parties concerned and can be the key to a successful CSR cooperation. Corporate social responsibility other branches and chains can learn a thing or two from, according to MVO Nederland.

In this project, the Indian cotton farmers, the buyer and supplier in Europe, Dibella, and two competitive textile managers, Lamme Textielbeheer and Blycolin, all work together.

‘This special project is a prime example of what we want as MVO Nederland’, says Willem Lageweg, director of MVO Nederland. ‘Vertical, one dimensional chain cooperation is often hard enough as it is, especially in a chain that is splintered and not very transparent. But horizontal cooperation is usually even more difficult, because it involved competitors.

It is all the more remarkable that Dibella, BLycolin and Lamme Textielbeheer have found a way to work together both vertically and horizontally. They prove that it is possible and have lifted CSR to a higher level. It’s real sustainable transition and is done by companies that are not afraid to act within their core business. The fact that these three make their products more sustainable and know how to create demand in the market for them, proves that CSR is more than ‘a little fun thing on the side’. It is the heart of the matter.

Read the brochure

Sustainability in reality

‘Many know the horrifying stories of cotton farmers in India. They are exploited, use toxic pesticides and are in a dead-end situation’, Jan Lamme, director of Lamme Textielbeheer explains. ‘We wanted to do something about that and also prove that CSR is not just a marketing tool, but that if you use the right approach, everyone gains something: we supply nice and qualitatively good and sustainable cotton at a fair price and our customers in the hospitality industry profit from that.’

We also show that you can cooperate with your competition

The Chetna project ensures that farmers use good cotton seeds that yield good cotton and sustainable cotton seeds that can be used for the next crops. Old disadvantageous loans can be paid off because they receive a good price for their harvest and farmers can get advantageous loans from Chetna to set up their business. Also, the community is supported.

Marc van Boekholt, director of Blycolin: ‘Our Indian farmers now work under more humane conditions, receive an honest price and the community florishes due to bicycles for students and better education for young people’.

About Chetna

Chetna cooperates with small and micro farmers to improve their living conditions in the rain-defecient region of Maharashtra, India. The agriculture must become sustainable and provide in the livelihood of the farmers for 100%. Chetna enables a different, productive and sustainable way of farming for these farmers.

Chetna grants favorable loans to interested farmers, with which they can purchase sowing seeds for biological cotton. The number of members has grown from 234 farmers in 2004 to 35,852 in 2014. Chetna’s power lies in collective trading and in an honest supply chain.

For over forty years, Blycolin has been active as the international specialist and partner in linen services. With a main office in the Netherlands, local service organizations in Germany, Belgium and Poland and four own laundry companies, the company offers total solutions for hotels, restaurants, recreational parks and wellness centers.

Lamme Textielbeheer cleans, rents, sells and manages textile for its customers in aviation, hospitality and health care. Lamme Textielbeheer is located in Nederhorst den Berg, Schiphol and Bad Vilbel in Germany. Lamme Textielbeheer was founded in 1834 by Evert Lamme and nowadays, Jan Lamme is the 6th generation to manage the family company.

Since 1986, Dibella has been a competent partner for textile for professional use in gastronomy, hotels and health care. Quality, design, functionality and profitability are key. Throughout Europe, the company supplies industrially washable textile to leasing laundries at attractive prices.

An honest linen story… by Blycolin