Cotton Council International (CCI), along with the leadership of the U.S. cotton industry, organized the first ever virtual Cotton Day India 2020 themed ‘Leading through change: Your partner for a new world’.
The virtual event, featuring eminent speakers and panelists from the Indian textile industry, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Cotton Council of America (NCC), Supima and CCI, focused on the outlook for the global cotton industry, opportunities for the Indian cotton textile industry and the need for leadership during the time of crisis. Cotton Day India 2020 included discussions on some of the most pressing topics facing the cotton industry in India and globally, with sustainability taking CenterStage. In a Covid-19 era, with the onus now on brands and their supply chain partners to demonstrate their environmental credentials, coupled with greater supply chain scrutiny and demand for traceability, most panelists agreed that sustainability in cotton production aligned with U.N. sustainability goals is the way forward for the industry as a whole. The keynote address on Indian cotton update was delivered by Lazaro Sandoval, Senior Agricultural Attaché, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Also pressing on the importance of leadership through crisis, sustainability and retail scenario post-Covid-19 was addressed by Michael Duke, former CEO Wal-Mart. Speaking about Cotton Day India 2020, CCI Executive Director Bruce Atherley said, “India is an important trade partner for U.S. cotton with every second bale imported into the country being produced in the U.S. One of the key factors for this is ‘trust’ associated with U.S. cotton. Quality, transparency, sustainability and the premium value of U.S. cotton fiber has created a preference for U.S. cotton. We are also the first country in the world to High-Volume Instrument (HVI) test 100% of the bales to ensure that clients/mills get what they order. As the world grapples with COVID-19, we are seeing a steady increase in customers demanding more sustainable products.” Atherley added, “To enable mills and manufacturers to combat these pre-existing and more recent pressures, COTTON USA™ recently introduced its new, game-changing COTTON USA SOLUTIONS™ technical consultancy program. With access to our first-of-its-kind industry initiative, businesses can equip themselves with the resources, data and opportunities they need for next-level success and profitability.” According to Dr. Gary Adams, President, U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, “The Trust Protocol has set new standards for sustainable cotton production by bringing quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement mapped to six key sustainability metrics – land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency.” Peush Narang, CCI’s India representative added, “The U.S. cotton industry has a history of strong relationship with India. For year 2019, cotton was the second highest exported agricultural commodity from U.S. to India. The United States is India’s largest exporting partner for cotton apparel. Global brands and retailers have always looked up to India for textile products, especially made from cotton. U.S. cotton has been the first choice whenever mills need to export high quality yarns. India has been amongst the top two users of Supima, an extra-long staple cotton grown in USA.” The key industry partners to Cotton Day India 2020 event included the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, Supima, Cotton Incorporated and Oritain.