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Build A Brand

Mark Lange

Mark Lange

National Cotton Council

Cotton Council International (CCI), the National Cotton Council’s export promotions arm, continues to elevate U.S. cotton in the global marketplace.

What is CCI’s mission?
CCI works to increase exports of U.S. cotton fiber, manufactured cotton goods, cottonseed and their products around the globe through trade services and consumer promotion. CCI adheres to a three-point plan that includes: 1) supply chain development, 2) brand/retailer promotion and support, and 3) developing industry partnerships. CCIÊs reach extends to more than 50 countries through 17 offices worldwide.

Has CCI revitalized its brand?
For 25 years now, more than 50,000 product lines and 3 billion products have proudly carried the name COTTON USA – a worldwide registered trademark signifying quality products manufactured with high U.S. cotton content. That has translated into about 100 million bales of cotton. CCI recently revitalized that flagship brand to emphasize purity, quality and responsibility. In addition to a new logo, there are new promotional and merchandising tools that will be rolled out globally over the coming months. CCI also redesigned its website, www.cottonusa.org, where it is personalizing U.S. cotton’s story for three key audiences: 1) fiber growers and buyers, 2) mills and manufacturers, and 3) consumers. COTTON USA social media platforms were launched to increase the brand’s global awareness and COTTON USA now can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Simultaneously, CCI is a partner in the recently launched Cotton LEADS™ program (see last month’s column) that was initiated to demonstrate to brands and retailers the commitment by U.S. producers to responsibly produced cotton.

What are some key CCI demand-building success stories?
For 45 years, the biennial COTTON USA Orientation Tour has been extremely valuable in keeping the global pipeline filled with U.S. raw cotton exports. Key overseas textile manufacturers travelled across the U.S. Cotton Belt last October where they: 1) gained greater awareness of U.S. cotton types/qualities and marketing practices and 2) enhanced their relationships with U.S. exporters. Another biennial event set for next month in Arizona is the Sourcing USA Summit. This forum enables top executives in the global cotton textile and export industries to network with the goal of increasing U.S. cotton exports. CCI, Cotton Incorporated and the U.S. cotton industry host the Summit, in cooperation with USDAÊs Foreign Agricultural Services.

This past June, a NCC leadership team, led by CCI Chairman John Burch, visited China to gather information from key Chinese cotton industry officials and convey the U.S. cotton industry’s continued commitment to deliver high quality cotton in a timely manner. This delegation was the sixth to visit China since the two countries established a Memorandum of Understanding that promises cooperation between the countries’ cotton industries. Another COTTON USA Executive Delegation travelled to China, Korea and Japan last month on a mission of updating those markes’ leaders about U.S. industry developments and discussing issues that can result in increased trade in U.S. cotton.

CCI continues to cultivate extraordinary programming to meet consumer demand throughout the global supply chain.

Mark Lange is the president and chief executive officer for the National Cotton Council of America. He and other NCC leaders contribute columns on this Cotton Farming page.