Punit Lalbhai joins Organic Cotton Accelerator’s board

Punit Lalbhai joins Organic Cotton Accelerator’s board

OCA has appointed four new trustees to its board amid continued global growth in demand for organic cotton.
The Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA), a multi-stakeholder organisation dedicated to organic cotton, has appointed four new trustees to its board. It is an exciting time at the organisation with operational expansion across the South Asia region, new contributors joining the platform to participate in the Farm Programme and continued global growth in demand for organic cotton.
Hammad Naqi Khan of WWF Pakistan, Punit Lalbhai of Arvind Ltd, Germán García Ibáñez of Inditex and Nanda Bergstein of Tchibo take their place on the OCA Board of Trustees for a three-year period, which commenced at the beginning of 2022. They join established players across the supply chain and add to the diverse collection of expertise. The Board formed from a wide cross section of the sector, such as Brand and Retailers, Suppliers and Manufacturers, and Civil Society Organisations, also has further scope to evolve and grow with the organisation.
Punit Lalbhai is Executive Director of Arvind Limited, based in India and represents manufacturers and suppliers on the OCA Board of Trustees. Home to over 27 distinguished and iconic brands, cutting across all formats of retail, Arvind Ltd, is one of the biggest manufacturers in the fashion world.
Speaking on his appointment to the OCA Board, Punit Lalbhai, said, “Once Arvind associated with OCA as an Implementing Partner, we learnt of the value it creates in bringing cohesion, a strong unified voice, and collective resources in solving problems faced by all stakeholders in the sphere of organic cotton. This made the decision to join the OCA board easy. Personally, as a member of the board, I am looking to both share my experience and perspectives our learnings as a farm project manager, as a large manufacturer and as the connecting link between the farm and brands. I am looking to learn from the wealth of experience that resides within the board and the wonderful staff at OCA.”
OCA is expanding its footprint to include Pakistan this year, so welcoming Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General and CEO of WWF Pakistan, to the OCA board feels especially timely. With a career spanning three decades and encompassing national and international experience, Hammad currently heads Pakistan’s largest environmental NGO.
Commenting on his appointment to the OCA Board of Trustees, Hammad said, “I’m really excited to join OCA as a Board of Trustee member. OCA’s mandate and objectives are quite straightforward and most definitely aligned with our conservation agenda and priorities. I see huge potential of organic cotton in the country and my team and I are confident and committed to taking this programme to the next level. I fully commit to supporting OCAs strive with the help of my expertise, experience, and network.”
Based in Spain as Head of Sustainable Product and Supply Chain at Inditex, Germán García will represent Brand and Retailers on the OCA Board of Trustees. With over 16 years’ experience in Sustainability and Development Germán’s focus is currently on sustainable raw material sourcing strategy, water stewardship in wet process factories, implementation of CO2 Science Based Targets, innovation process and materials and life cycle assessment studies of apparel products.
Nanda Bergstein is the Director for Corporate Responsibility at the German Coffee and Consumer Goods retailer Tchibo, one of the pioneering companies on sustainability in the mainstream. She has held several sustainability and human rights related roles at Tchibo over the past 14 years and since 2018 has been responsible for leading the company’s transition towards becoming a fully sustainable business.
Commenting on the announcement, Bart Vollaard, Executive Director of OCA said: “These appointments illustrate that OCA is continuing to take strides in representation and inclusion within its organisation. I am extremely pleased to welcome such committed and experienced individuals to a growing Board at OCA. And more will follow, as we are determined to increase the representation of farmer and field-level organisations in our Board and start looking at Turkey to further expand our programmes. We look forward to working with these new Trustees to shape the agenda and governance of the organisation as it accelerates change across the sector.”

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