Cotton Council International (CCI), the National Cotton Council’s export promotion arm, continued to position U.S. cotton as the “The Cotton the World Trusts” and expand foreign demand for U.S. cotton fiber, yarn and other cotton products.
CCI showcased U.S. cotton’s quality, sustainability, transparency, premium value and innovation as it promoted U.S. cotton in more than 50 countries under its COTTON USA™ trademark. COTTON USA events in 2018 focused primarily on three facets of CCI’s promotional strategy: 1) educating mills, manufacturers, brand and retailers on the advantages of U.S. cotton; 2) facilitating connections across the global supply chain; and 3) promoting innovation with U.S. cotton. Participation in COTTON USA events in 2018 led to reported sales of 14 million bales of U.S. cotton, valued at approximately $5.3 billion.
A partnership comprised of the NCC, CCI, Cotton Incorporated and Supima continued to work seamlessly throughout the supply chain to provide 1) advanced cotton technology, 2) strategies for improved cotton product performance and 3) sales-building expertise to mills, manufacturers and retailers worldwide. The four organizations also actively collaborated with the industry to ensure open access to the latest innovations that help ensure that cotton is a sustainable ingredient in tomorrow’s garments and home textiles.
That partnership facilitated another successful Cotton Sourcing USA Summit in 2018 where global cotton community leaders gathered to discuss how the industry’s future will affect their businesses. Cotton sellers, buyers, global visionaries and other key supply chain decision makers participated in conversations about the influence of innovations on consumer demand for cotton and production of higher-quality and more sustainable cotton grown in the United States. On post-event surveys, 88 percent of mills agreed that the Summit educated and/or convinced them of the advantages of U.S. cotton vs. alternatives. Because of the Summit, mills were expected to purchase an additional 6.0 million bales of U.S. cotton in 2019, a value of $2.3 billion.
CCI’s overall effort was boosted by 10 U.S. cotton organizations which pledged their support in 2018: the NCC; Cotton Incorporated; American Cotton Shippers Association; AMCOT; California Cotton Alliance; the Committee for Cotton Research; ICE Futures U.S.; Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.; Southern Cotton Growers, Inc.; Supima; and U.S. textile manufacturers. That support was an invaluable supplement to the funding from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service’s Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development program.
CCI promoted its WHAT'S NEW IN COTTON™ initiative -- which showcases new textile innovations in U.S. cotton-rich apparel and home textile products -- at multiple events throughout 2018.
That included Cotton Days” in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam brought together COTTON USA licensees and potential business partners while positioning U.S. cotton as the fiber of choice globally. Projected sales from Cotton Days are expected to reach nearly 3.6 million bales, valued at $1.37 billion, based on post-event survey results collected by CCI.
Cotton apparel and home textiles were promoted at important international trade shows. Among those were: Heimtextil in Frankfurt, Germany, the Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles event in China; Colombiamoda in Medellin, Colombia; and Première Vision in Paris, where CCI once again showcased an array of U.S. cotton-rich apparel created with innovative technology at one of the world’s largest exhibitions of apparel, fabric and yarn manufacturers.
The U.S. textile industry was promoted via the COTTON USA Sourcing Program at the third COTTON USA Sourcing Fair in Hong Kong where global sourcing assistance was provided for companies looking for U.S. cotton fiber and yarns to manufacture high quality textile products. Attendees reported the event resulted in sales and purchases of more than $550 million. Post Sourcing Fair survey results showed that 1) the event led 88 percent of attendees to plan purchases or sell an additional $900 million worth of U.S. cotton over the next year and 2) 96 percent of attendees indicated U.S. cotton quality was better than cotton from other regions.
Other successful Sourcing Program opportunities were at Colombiatex in Medellin, Colombia; at the COTTON USA Western Hemisphere Sourcing Fair in Cancun, Mexico; at the Apparel Sourcing Show 2018 in Guatemala City where U.S. textile manufacturers were showcased; and at the Peru Moda 2018 trade show in Lima, Peru where the spotlight was on COTTON USA licensed garments, towels and sheets.
A seven-member 2018 COTTON USA Executive Delegation traveled to the Indian cities of Mumbai, Coimbatore and New Delhi to participate in conferences emphasizing U.S. cotton’s quality to Indian textile mill leadership and to conduct meetings with key mill partners.
More than 100 attendees explored the added value that U.S. cotton could bring to the Chinese uniform industry at a COTTON USA-conducted seminar in China, the world’s largest uniform consumer. Nearly 100 partners throughout the Hong Kong textile supply chain attended a COTTON USA-sponsored seminar on the cotton and apparel market and how the industry is moving ahead with re-industrialization.
As participants in a CCI-coordinated COTTON USA Special Trade Mission, textile executives representing 11 Vietnamese companies gained a better understanding of how U.S. cotton can add value to the products they manufacture.
CCI teamed up with two Chinese and Western denim design masters, Chen Wen and Adriano Goldschmied, to launch a 2018-19 autumn/winter denim fashion collection during the China International Fashion Week in Beijing.