U.S. and Australian Cotton Industries Launch Cotton LEADS™ Program
Cotton Council International (CCI), the National Cotton Council of America, Cotton Incorporated and Cotton Australia founded the Cotton LEADS™ program to promote awareness of the responsible cotton production practices undertaken in the United States and Australia. Combined, Australia and the United States account for roughly 17 percent of global cotton production.
Cotton LEADS assures retailers, brands and textile manufacturers seeking transparency in their supply chain that their partners can easily source reliable and responsible raw material. Comprehensive tracking and identification systems are already in place throughout the cotton production supply chain in both Australia and the United States.
Cotton LEADS’ founding members and signatories committed to five core principles – commitment, recognition, understanding, belief and confidence – as the foundation for an effective program that fosters the ability of supply chain entities to meet the world’s demand for responsibly-produced cotton.
The U.S. cotton industry recognizes that sustainability requires a commitment to continual improvement, and its participation in Cotton LEADS demonstrates this dedication to responsible production.
For more information on the Cotton LEADS program, visit www.cottonleads.org.
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Textile Representatives from 18 Countries Tour the U.S. Cotton Belt
Thirty-four participants from 18 countries participated in this year’s COTTON USA Orientation Tour sponsored by CCI. The countries represented import about 85 percent of the world’s total cotton imports, while U.S. cotton exports to the companies represented on the Tour are estimated at 1 million bales in calendar year 2013.
The Tour provided the participants with a better understanding of the many elements that make up the seven segments of the U.S. cotton industry and encouraged business relationships with the intention to increase exports of U.S. cotton in the future.
The tour began in Cary, NC, and headed on to Memphis, TN; Dallas, TX; and Lubbock, TX; concluding in Bakersfield, CA. At each destination, the participants had the opportunity to educate themselves on the research, technology and innovation programs that are major strengths of U.S. cotton. The participants met with merchants, cooperatives, farmers, industry organizations and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The group also got briefings from CCI, the National Cotton Council, Cotton Incorporated, the American Cotton Shippers Association, the Texas Cotton Association, the Lubbock Cotton Exchange, AMCOT, the American Cotton Producers, the Southern Cotton Growers Association, the Plains Cotton Growers Association, Texas Cotton Producers, the Western Cotton Shippers Association, the San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association and Supima.
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Future Cotton Industry Leaders Visit Cotton Incorporated
CCI accompanied American Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA) International Cotton Institute students on a trip to Cotton Incorporated’s worldwide headquarters in Cary, NC, where they observed various fiber and textile processing technologies. Thirty-seven students from 14 countries participated.
The 2013 International Cotton Institute is an eight-week residential program designed to provide a basic education in all aspects of the cotton industry.
In North Carolina, the students participated in discussions with industry experts. Topics included: corporate innovation, the cotton market outlook, non-traditional markets, new product development, marketing success stories and an overview of product implementation.
The group also observed machinery including: spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing, garment design software, special applications and treatments, screen printing and finishing. Laboratory tours introduced new research and technologies in the fields of fiber processing, product development, dyeing and finishing, and product evaluation.
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Cotton's Revolutions Session Explores Sustainability and Retailing
CCI hosted a seven-hour Cotton’s Revolutions session exploring sustainability and the future structure of cotton and textile retailing. More than 15 top-level industry leaders participated in the session, including prominent global brands, retailers, manufacturers, sourcing entities and spinners.
The meeting opened with presentations on the importance of sustainability over the next two decades and what developments to expect in the dynamic of retailing in the future. A wide-ranging discussion followed, which included predictions for how sustainability issues will shape the market, the growing importance of traceability in the supply chain, and whether standards for sustainability are needed and how they might be developed.
A lively discussion also transpired on the future structure of the retail environment, including the role of big box retailers, the impact of e-commerce, and the importance of traditional department stores and boutiques. The Cotton’s Revolutions team will have a consolidated report of the discussion session results available in the near term.
CCI developed the Cotton's Revolutions initiative to help the global cotton textile and apparel industry engage in strategic thinking focused on anticipating developments that will affect the entire supply chain. The foundation for Cotton’s Revolutions is the Seven Revolutions concept developed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC. The Cotton’s Revolutions initiative focuses on the four revolutions that are most relevant to the global cotton-textile-apparel industry: resource management, economic integration, technology and governance.
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Sourcing USA Summit Engages Global Cotton Industry Leaders
Approximately 460 global cotton textile industry leaders from 24 countries attended the sixth biennial Sourcing USA Summit. The event took place from Nov. 9-12 at Terranea® in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Themed "Strengthening Enduring Partnerships," the Summit provided strategic thinking and networking opportunities to members of the global cotton and textile industries.
Preliminary survey results show that about 1.2 million bales of U.S. cotton were sold during the Summit, and the expected quantity to sell within three months following the Summit is about 3.5 million bales.
The keynote speaker kicked off the Summit with a thought-provoking futurist's presentation on global business and social trends. Business forums during the Summit covered U.S. cotton fiber qualities and traceability, the global cotton supply chain and the economic outlook for the cotton market. A former CNBC chief economist and co-host of SQUAWK BOX zeroed in on major economic and financial issues of the day. A novel bull and bear debate featuring a panel of global cotton industry leaders concluded the Summit's business forums. Each member of the audience used an interactive voting device to respond to questions pertaining to the speakers and panelists, providing immediate feedback throughout the business forums.
In a post event survey, 89 percent of respondents said the Summit presentations provided substantive new information. Furthermore, 98 percent said they recommend another Summit of this type.
The Summit is organized by Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated, with the support of the U.S. cotton industry and USDA. Nineteen U.S. export and 14 allied industry organizations sponsored the event.
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Discover Natural Fibers Initiative (DNFI) Established to Increase Awareness of Natural Fibers, Including Cotton
A coalition between CCI and other international natural fiber organizations established the DNFI to extend the partnership initiated by the International Year of Natural Fibers (IYNF) Steering Committee organizations. The DNFI will build on the success of the IYNF and adopt the same objective, which is "to raise the awareness and profile of natural fibers, including cotton, and emphasize their value to global consumers while helping to sustain farmer income." The decision to continue working closely together was the result of an IYNF committee meeting held in Frankfurt, Germany, in January. DNFI is an alliance of key international natural fiber organizations including CCI, the International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO), the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), the Bremen Cotton Exchange, the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), the International Forum for Cotton Promotion (IFCP) and others.
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