The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) has raised the bar on requirements for certified gins.

In the textiles industry, cotton ginning refers to the machinery which removes stems, soil, burrs and other debris from cotton bolls, separating the fibres from the seed. It’s the first processing stage of the ‘conversion of fibre into yarn and yarn into fabric’, according to the certifier.

Under the new requirements being introduced by GOTS a ‘farm-gin registry’ will become compulsory for all farms and farm groups whose certified raw material enters the GOTS system. The registry will include information on farm yields and will be implemented progressively, beginning in India.

Another change concerns the mileage covered by raw cotton, which will not be allowed to travel more than 500km (310 miles) from the farm to the certified gin. GOTS says the shorter trade chain ‘protects vulnerable points and optimizes the process for buyers’.

Finally, unannounced audits will become more commonplace in cases where there is a ‘high perception of risk’.

GOTS also stipulates that the Farm TC number must appear on the first GOTS TC at the ginning plant (the first step for cotton in the GOTS supply chain), in order to ‘strengthen integrity and traceability’. The TC must state the origin of the raw material – including region, state and province – which helps trace the material from fashion back to field, adding ‘another layer of accountability to GOTS-certified fibre’.

The new requirements join an extensive list of existing checks and balances performed throughout each processing stage – such as testing seed cotton for the presence of genetically modified organisms – as GOTS coordinates its efforts with other key players in the sector to ‘support the integrity of organic textiles’.

Rahul Bhajekar (pictured left), managing director of GOTS, comments: “GOTS has always been a dynamic standard, developing and expanding to be stronger and more effective all the time.

“We are looking forward to these new rules further strengthening GOTS against potential fraud.”