In its 50th year of promoting exports of U.S. cotton fiber and products, Cotton Council International (CCI) once again took substantial action that yielded outstanding results. CCI continued to play a key role in expanding foreign demand for U.S. cotton, while pausing to reflect on its history. Industry and government leaders came together to celebrate CCI’s 50th anniversary in Washington, DC. The anniversary also was commemorated overseas in Beijing.
Throughout 2006, CCI capitalized on its promotional events, such as Buying Tours and Special Trade Missions. To further advance CCI’s COTTON USA program, exciting new events were added to the calendar, including the China Cotton School, the Japanese Fiber Education Tour and the Risk Management Seminars in Southeast Asia. CCI extended its global network by establishing an office in Shanghai, as China continues to be U.S. cotton’s number one export destination.
CCI maximized investment dollars in its COTTON USA activities. Coupled with its U.S. industry partners and its 413 licensees overseas, CCI garnered a 5-to-1 leverage of industry funds against public funds and the equivalent of nearly $130 million in third party contributions overseas in 2006.
Operating in 50 markets worldwide, CCI intensified its promotion of U.S. cotton’s quality, reliability and service to help the industry remain competitive.
“Times have changed, and exports have only gotten more important -- and our support for export market development has become vital.” ... 2006 CCI President David Burns
U.S. Cotton Fiber/Product Promotions
The 2006 Sourcing USA Summit in Scottsdale, AZ, showcased American cotton before 170 buyers representing 28 countries. Data collected by the NCC on 72 percent of those buyers revealed that group’s total cotton consumption to be about 18.4 million bales. The COTTON USA Special Trade Mission from Turkey, the second largest export market for U.S. cotton, gave overseas customers a firsthand look at the U.S. supply system. Executives representing 12 Turkish textile mills participated in this Cotton Belt tour.
|CCI-sponsored a U.S. Cotton Belt tour for Turkish textile mill executives that included a visit to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s cotton classing office in Bartlett, TN. |
With help from the American Cotton Shippers Association and AMCOT, CCI’s China Cotton Schools helped representatives from 145 cotton importing companies get a better grasp of the international cotton market’s complexities.
CCI collaborated with the New York Board of Trade in holding cotton risk management seminars in Indonesia and Thailand. Nearly 200 cotton buyers and their suppliers were presented with new ways to manage the risks of cotton price instability.
Nine top retailers and trading companies from Japan, with a combined annual turnover of $300 billion, met with U.S. cotton industry leaders during the CCI-sponsored Fiber Education Tour. After the tour, 90 percent of the participants said they intended to increase their purchases of U.S. cotton-rich apparel products in the next two years.
CCI’s COTTON USA Sourcing Program maintained robust support for U.S. cotton yarn and fabric manufacturers targeting at Mexico, the Andean region and Central America.
Following the COTTON USA Trade Fair in the Dominican Republic, survey respondents from the Central America/Caribbean and Andean region said they planned to increase their sales of U.S. cotton products by $4.6 million.
Six U.S. textile mills traveled to Korea to meet with senior Korean apparel manufacturing executives who have operations in the Central America and Caribbean region. After the visit and related trade fair, each Korean company expressed plans to increase its share of U.S.-manufactured yarn in its Caribbean region operations.
The benefits of U.S. cotton and its products and business opportunities were promoted at Colombiatex, Colombia’s most prominent international textile trade show. The COTTON USA Sourcing Program booth at the 9th annual Peru Moda trade show in Lima show allowed Peruvian and U.S. companies to take advantage of business opportunities. Three different groups of U.S. mills toured 30 Peruvian companies.
The COTTON USA Sourcing Program was showcased at the Apparel Sourcing Show in Guatemala City, and media interviews enabled CCI’s message to reach an estimated 500,000 consumers in the region.
Supply Chain Marketing
CCI continued developing innovative ways to match buyers and suppliers. Through its Supply Chain Marketing (SCM) program launched a few years ago, CCI’s partners have confirmed orders valued at more than $8.7 million, representing an estimated minimum of three million square meters of fabric and more than 1 million finished units of cotton apparel and home textiles.
COTTON USA Buying Tours are the most popular SCM activity. In 2006, 11 retailers and brands representing $1 billion in annual sales traveled to Istanbul for the COTTON USA Fabric and Apparel Buyers Tour to Turkey. CCI also led six representatives from major European apparel and home textile brands and retailers to Pakistan to meet with suppliers of U.S. cotton-rich products.
Trade shows also offer an important platform for CCI’s Supply Chain Marketing efforts.
At the Heimtextil trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, international buyers used the SCM services to meet new suppliers of U.S. cotton-rich products. COTTON USA licensees expect more than $5 million in sales as a result of participating in this show.
The “Come Home to Cotton” pavilion at Intertextile Shanghai connected COTTON USA suppliers with buyers from major consumer markets. CCI and Cotton Incorporated organized a session to give Japanese retailers more sourcing options for products containing U.S. cotton but manufactured in China.
CCI, Cotton Incorporated and Supima collaborated on the COTTON USA booth at Texworld to offer visitors expertise about the full spectrum of U.S. cotton and cotton products. As a result, CCI made new contacts for its Supply Chain Marketing effort and signed three new Turkish COTTON USA Mark licensees.
COTTON USA Mark Licensing/Promotion
|CCI President David Burns, a North Carolina producer, highlighted the importance of U.S. cotton at Cotton Day Japan, an annual COTTON USA Mark-branded consumer event. |
The COTTON USA Mark was created to identify and raise awareness of the premiere qualities of U.S. cotton products. The COTTON USA Mark helps consumers make informed choices based on the fiber content of a product.
Through COTTON USA licensing, which is bolstered by the Mark, CCI has developed strategic alliances with hundreds of quality users of U.S. cotton fiber in more than 50 countries worldwide.
For example, CCI Korea’s promotions yielded a return-on-investment ratio of 50 to 1 for its “COTTON USA Pink in Love” promotion. Sales of COTTON USA Mark-labeled apparel totaled $4.2 million dollars, a year-on-year sales increase of 34 percent. Other promotions in Germany, Japan and Thailand were equally successful as was the 10th annual Cotton Days in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.
CCI and Cotton Incorporated teamed up in China in a major new effort to stimulate generic demand among the world’s most rapidly evolving consumers. Held under the theme of “Cotton – Beyond Your Imagination” and targeting major urban areas in China, the event received strong consumer interest, helping to combat the threat from synthetics.
Increased funding from U.S. industry sponsors and matching public investment will ensure that CCI begins its second half century on solid footing. CCI received 2006 support from: the National Cotton Council; Cotton Incorporated; the American Cotton Shippers Association; the American Cotton Marketing Cooperatives; the New York Board of Trade; Supima; Southern Cotton Growers, Inc.; Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.; the San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association; the National Cottonseed Products Association; Monsanto - through the Cotton Foundation; USDA; U.S. cotton yarn and textile manufacturers; and COTTON USA Mark licensees throughout the world.