Cotton Council International, the National Cotton Council’s export promotion arm, continues to vigorously advance U.S. cotton as the “The Cotton The World Trusts.”
■ What is CCI’s overall mission?
Operating in more than 50 countries under its COTTON USA™ trademark, CCI is achieving an ambitious mission of making U.S. cotton the preferred fiber for mills/manufacturers, brands/retailers and consumers. Reaching that global mission hinges on CCI’s work to command a value-added premium for U.S. fiber, yarn and other cotton products. That helps drives export growth and ultimately delivers U.S. cotton industry profitability.
Due to the pandemic, objectives to carry out that mission were shifted somewhat to: 1) develop new value-added services that will help CCI better market U.S. cotton to its target audiences; 2) develop new ways of communicating the benefits of U.S. cotton when in-person meetings are impossible; and 3) promote the new U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol sustainability initiative to mills, manufacturers, and brands/retailers worldwide.
Although the pandemic led CCI to at least temporarily take its communications and events online, U.S. cotton’s technical advantages were creatively publicized, networking platforms were initiated for buyers/sellers of U.S. cotton, and U.S. cotton’s sustainability was aggressively promoted — with an ultimate goal of boosting U.S. cotton sales.
As a result, mills participating in COTTON USA™ virtual events during 2020 were expected to purchase an additional 1.6 million bales of U.S. cotton, estimated at nearly $436 million.
■ How does CCI’s new COTTON USA SOLUTIONS™ help?
COTTON USA SOLUTIONS™ is the first-of-its-kind technical consultancy in the cotton supply chain for mills and manufacturers. CCI believes this initiative can escalate global U.S. cotton usage as it provides cutting-edge data and technology led by a group of world-class mill experts who have more than 200 years of global experience/expertise.
This team evaluates and advises mill/manufacturer business operations — with the ultimate goal of helping them achieve greater productivity, process efficiency and ultimately more profit.
COTTON USA SOLUTIONS™ specifically offers CCI licensees who are Trust Protocol members: 1) dynamic data from mill research/studies, 2) a mill exchange program where participants tour state-of-the-art mills and exchange ideas with mill executives, 3) technical seminars with training in buying, spinning, handling, and other techniques, 4) the COTTON USA Mill Mastery™ Course and 5) one-to-one mill consults (on-site or remote) that offer proven cost savings from 10%-25%. The remote consult utilizes CCI’s Virtual Mill Doctor™ whereby experts examine operations virtually and then provide customized recommendations.
■ What about other CCI activities?
In addition to the COTTON USA SOLUTIONS™ and other educational initiatives, CCI hopes to resume conducting its wide range of in-person activities from trade missions and sourcing fairs to its annual Cotton Days, which increase awareness among mills and fabric manufacturers of U.S. cotton’s attributes.
However, the pandemic did not stop CCI from expanding its Cotton Days events — as it conducted virtual Cotton Days in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia during 2020. Those events, for example, brought together more than 1,500 executives from some of Southeast Asia’s most important brands/retailers, garment manufacturers and textile mills. As the world’s leading importer of cotton fiber, that region has emerged as strategically important for U.S. cotton and CCI’s promotion activities.
Gary Adams is president/CEO of the National Cotton Council of America. He and other NCC leaders contribute columns on this Cotton Farming page.