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CCI making efforts to promote US-grown cotton

"Cotton Council International is refocusing resources to heavily target partnerships and promotions directly with global mills, manufacturers, brands and retailers, highlighting US-grown cotton as the world’s ‘preferred fibre.' In October 2015, Atherley became the executive director of Cotton Council International, the wing of the US cotton industry charged with promoting US cotton fibre and manufactured cotton products around the world, a big task considering more than three-quarters of US-grown cotton ends up overseas, and that’s a trend not soon to change."

 

 

cotton usa

 

Cotton Council International is refocusing resources to heavily target partnerships and promotions directly with global mills, manufacturers, brands and retailers, highlighting US-grown cotton as the world’s ‘preferred fibre.' In October 2015, Atherley became the executive director of Cotton Council International, the wing of the US cotton industry charged with promoting US cotton fibre and manufactured cotton products around the world, a big task considering more than three-quarters of US-grown cotton ends up overseas, and that’s a trend not soon to change.

Reducing contamination

CCI making efforts to promote US grown cotton

 

Since being on the job, Atherley has travelled to major mills across the globe, and says US cotton is considered the best in the world. He has heard from some mills that contamination in US cotton is becoming a problem, particularly plastic trash coming from round bale wraps. The US industry knows about this problem, and in the past few years, it has initiated awareness campaigns to let farmers and others handlers along the cotton supply chain know what they can do to reduce contamination. It is a work in progress, but one that needs to improve sooner rather than later. According to him, US cotton receives a premium over other countries’ cotton and if they do not address our contamination issues, that premium could decrease.

The goalpost

There are three goals going forward: Increase volume, or export of US cotton; increasing the US share in the global supply chain, which is about a 35 per cent share now and continue to secure premium prices for US cotton. Planning for the new mission began last year January, he said, with the ambition of comfortably getting to 20 million bales of US cotton production by 2026, which would require about a 1.5 per cent annual growth rate in global demand. But with a dramatic increase in US cotton exports, which are running 60 per cent more this year than last, the 20-million-bale goal possibly could be achieved by 2020.

To accomplish these goals, farmers’ prime strategy should be to differentiate and brand US cotton. The Cotton USA brand was first introduced in 1989, and has since been used on hangtags, labels and points-of-purchase around the world and on 51,000 product lines, but it had never been tested very well to measure its worth.

CCI tested the brand in the US, India and China and got positive responses that show consumers do value the brand and, it was more importantly determined from the tests, people would pay more for a product that included Cotton USA fiber, he said.

 
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