There seem to be so many buzzwords that come and go in the business world. I remember the days of trying to “think outside the box” to achieve team “synergy.” And goodness knows we have all grown tired of the phrases “the new normal” and “pivot” after the last year. However, sometimes a buzzword comes along that just gets it right.
Over the past couple years, there has been a continued focus on stakeholder transparency among all commodity boards. While some may think of “transparency” as another passing buzzword, The Cotton Board doesn’t see it that way.
The Cotton Board is dedicated to making sure the stakeholders of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program have access to reliable, up-to-date information in an easy-to-find format.
We think of it as giving the cotton producers and importers who pay into the program an all-access pass to look behind the curtain, so they can understand how their investment is being used. After all, this is their program, and we want them to be aware of and satisfied with the work being done on their behalf.
Information in the Stakeholder Transparency section of cottonboard.org includes links to The Cotton Board’s current and past annual reports, Cotton Incorporated activity reports, program governing documents and The Cotton Board ‘s budget breakdowns. Other resources include The Cotton Board’s audited financial documents, Cotton Incorporated budget breakdowns, Cotton Incorporated financial Information, and board rosters.
Additionally, The Cotton Board conducts an independent, in-depth economic analysis of the effects of the program every five years — and we always share the results with our stakeholders. The analysis uses an economic simulation model of U.S. and foreign fiber markets maintained at Texas Tech University.
The economists responsible for the report look at the interactions between supply and demand and price and production. They also analyze the impact on cotton and cotton product markets both with and without the program. The study focuses on the effects generated by Cotton Incorporated’s marketing and consumer promotion efforts, agricultural research projects, and cottonseed research and marketing projects.
Positive Findings Noted
The most recent study was published earlier this year. It is detailed and explicit in its findings, saying, “The cotton checkoff program has enhanced cotton and cottonseed demand, augmented U.S. cotton yields and production as well as cottonseed prices, and generated a positive return to both cotton producers and importers.”
The study goes on to say the program has “reduced the dependance of cotton producers on government farm programs and benefited taxpayers.” Additionally, due to investment in agricultural research, the checkoff program has reduced costs per acre planted to Upland cotton, primarily for fertilizer, chemicals, fuel and custom operations.”
The reports from the past three evaluations can also be found on our website’s stakeholder transparency page.
I would like to invite program stakeholders to visit our website and review this analysis and the other data we have posted under the stakeholder transparency tab. A lot of material is housed there. But it is information that will help illustrate how the program is working to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton.
Stacey Gorman is The Cotton Board’s director of communications. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.