Sydney, Australia – The Australian cotton industry’s story of continuous improvement has been shared on a global scale this year, with a number of international events aimed at engaging with brands, retailers and manufacturers in the textile supply chain.
Goondiwindi cotton grower and Cotton Australia Deputy Chair, Simon Corish, recently returned from a Better Cotton Initiative Board meeting, held at Nike headquarters in Portland, Oregon. The BCI Board includes representation from some of the world’s biggest brands and civil society groups, and this meeting included much positive discussion around the program and its future.
Mr Corish’ involvement allows the Australian cotton industry a voice at the table to help shape and influence the program, as well as provide a practical ‘ground truthing’ voice to the ideas raised. A number of fully accredited myBMP growers in Australia registered for BCI this season, giving them the ability to market their cotton as BCI into a market that is looking for responsibly-produced options. Cotton Australia is planning some additional training for merchants and growers to ensure Australia understands the processes for supplying BCI cotton this season, and in future as more growers choose to participate.
In January, Dawson Valley cotton grower and Cotton Australia Board member, Fleur Anderson, joined CEO Adam Kay and Cotton to Market Project Lead, Brooke Summers at two Cotton LEADS™ partner events in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Key staff from Cotton Incorporated’s local and US offices attended the events.
35 existing Cotton LEADS™ partners and 14 prospective partners joined these events to hear about the most recent efforts in Australia and the US to continuously improve on-farm performance through research, technology and innovation.
Mr Kay updated partners on Australia’s commitments as outlined in the recently released Australian Grown Cotton Sustainability Report 2014. Ms Anderson described her personal story and how sustainability occurs in practice on the farm, all of which was very well received by participants.
Following the presentations, a partner discussion was facilitated by Mr Kay and Ms Summers. Partners were given the opportunity to provide feedback on the program and brainstorm new ideas for how the Cotton LEADS™ program can further improve responsible cotton globally in 2015.
Source: Cotton Australia