By Mark Lange
Because U.S. cotton has become such a highly export-dependent industry, the Sourcing USA Summit’s importance has grown significantly since its initiation more than a decade ago.
What is the Summit’s purpose?
Since 1999, Cotton Council International, the National Cotton Council’s export promotion arm, together with Cotton Incorporated and U.S. cotton industry leaders, has hosted the biennial Sourcing USA Summit to boost U.S. cotton fiber exports and further develop the cotton fiber export market’s health. The Summit provides global cotton/textile industries’ attendees with excellent networking opportunities – and they are appreciative of the key business contacts made. They also benefit from discussion of key issues facing the cotton textile supply chain, and the majority of attendees say the Summit provides substantive new and strategic information on the global cotton market that helps their respective countries and businesses better prepare for future challenges.
What about the 2012 Summit?
The event was held near Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 13-16. Like previous Summits, this year’s forum attracted key executives from leading textile mills from around the world and the major U.S. cotton exporting firms. The quality of speakers and information was unparalleled and provided attendees with opportunities to participate in discussions that affected their profitability and ability to compete in the global market.
The forum kicked off with “The Disruptive Age: Thriving in an Era of Constant Change,” and featured multiple timely reports such as future global weather patterns, a discussion of cotton’s competing crops by a panel of cotton producers and agribusiness representatives, a look at contract sanctity/volatility/cotton textile supply chain, and an update on USDA cotton classing developments. Attendees also heard reports on “The Cotton Advantage: Opportunities to Reduce Costs & Gain Competitive Edge,” “Cotton Retailing and the Global Consumer” and “The Outlook for the Global Economy.” The economic outlook session also offered reports on world fiber markets; global commodity markets and included a “bull and bear” panel discussion among leading U.S. cotton merchants, cooperative marketing officials and financial advisors.
How is the Summit supported?
The 2012 Sourcing USA Summit benefited from the assistance of 32 company sponsors, including U.S. cotton exporters and allied industries. That included: Jess Smith & Sons Cotton, Plains Cotton Cooperative Assoc., San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Assoc., Toyoshima, Omnicotton, ECOM Cotton, J.G. Boswell Co., Staplcotn, Calcot, Allenberg Cotton Co., ACG Cotton Marketing LLC, Cargill Cotton, White Gold Cotton LLC, Olam, Cotton Growers Coop, Toyo Cotton Co., Noble Cotton, Baco Trading, Glencore Trading and Supima. This year’s allied industry sponsors included: Wakefield Inspection Services, Steadfast Futures & Options /LOGIC Advisors, Monsanto, Cotton Market and Risk Management Consulting, Cargo Control Group, CoBank ACB, Uster Technologies, Rieter Textile Systems, Bayer CropScience/FiberMax & Stoneville, ICE Futures U.S., Intertek and Cotton Outlook.
These firms offered their support because they know how critical exports have become to U.S. cotton’s viability. In its November supply/-demand report, USDA projects that of the 2012-13 U.S. crop of 17.45 million bales, exports will account for 11.6 million bales.
Mark Lange is president and chief executive officer for the National Cotton Council of America. He and other NCC leaders contribute columns on this Cotton Farming page.