COTTON COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL JOINS SUSTAINABLE APPAREL COALITION

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 20, 2020) – Cotton Council International (CCI) announces that it has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and will use the group’s sustainability measurement suite of tools, the Higg Index, to drive environmental and social responsibility throughout its supply chain.

With its membership in the SAC, CCI joins more than 250 global brands, retailers, and manufacturers, as well as government, non-profit environmental organizations, and academic institutions, which are collectively committed to improving supply chain sustainability in the apparel, footwear, and textile industry.

The U.S. cotton industry is committed to continual improvement in sustainability and continues to build upon the strong environmental gains already achieved over the past 35 years.

“We are pleased to be joining the SAC, confident that together we can scale positive impact on product sustainability over time,” said Steph Thiers-Ratcliffe, CCI Director of European Brands and Retailers. “With shared ambition in providing robust environmental data to the sector, we will collaborate to enable greater supply chain transparency and informed decision making.”

In its relationship with the SAC, CCI will contribute both data and resources to support the Higg Index, which measures sustainability performance and drives supply chain transparency and decision-making to improve efficiency and sustainability impact. The Higg Index is an indicator-based suite of tools that enables suppliers, manufacturers, brands, and retailers to evaluate materials, products, facilities, and processes based on environmental performance, social labor practices, and product design choices.

“We welcome the addition of CCI to the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and look forward to its participation in this industry-wide effort in sustainability,” SAC Executive Director Amina Razvi said. “Having CCI as part of the Coalition widens the scope of our impact within the industry and accelerates the change we’re making towards responsible industry actions.”

Companies or organizations that are not currently members of the SAC and are interested in accessing the Higg suite of tools, may inquire at https://apparelcoalition.org/join-us/.

About Cotton Council International:

Cotton Council International (CCI) is a non-profit trade association that promotes U.S. cotton fiber and manufactured cotton products around the globe with our COTTON USA™ Mark. Our reach extends to more than 50 countries through 20 offices around the world. With more than 60 years of experience, CCI’s mission is to make U.S. cotton the preferred fiber for mills/manufacturers, brands/retailers and consumers, commanding a value-added premium that delivers profitability across the U.S. cotton industry and drives export growth of fiber, yarn and other cotton products. For more information, visit http://www.cottonusa.org.

About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition:
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is an industry-wide group of more than 250 leading apparel, footwear, and textile, brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, nonprofits/NGOs, and academic institutions working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of products around the world. Through multi-stakeholder engagement, the SAC seeks to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability built upon a common approach for measuring and evaluating apparel, footwear, and textile product sustainability performance that spotlights priorities for action and opportunities for technological innovation. The SAC was incorporated as a 501c(6) nonprofit organization and launched the groundbreaking Higg Index suite of tools in 2011. For more information, visit apparelcoalition.org.

GDA: Several Agriculture Commodity Commissions Seeking Nominations

ATLANTA, GA– Eleven Georgia Agriculture Commodity Commissions are seeking nominations to fill 29 board positions. Eligible candidates must be active producers of the commodity and commit to attending commodity commission meetings. Term-expiring board members are also eligible for reappointment. Please see commodity commissions and term-expiring members below:

 Apple – David Lilliard, Janice Smith Hale, Jarl Echols; Blueberry – Shane Wade, Steve Mullis, Russ Goodman; Corn – Randy Dowdy, Rodney Harrell, Robby Brett; Cotton – Chris Hopkins, Lee Cromley, John Ruark; Equine – Ron Smith; Milk – Tim Camp, Judd Chambers, Pete Gelber; Peach – Jeff Wainwright, Duke Lane III, Lee Dickey; Pecan – RG Lamar, Lanair Worsham Jr.; Soybean – Greg Mims, Tony Smith, Mark Ariail; Tobacco – Carlos Vickers, Brant Clifton; Vegetable – Jamie Brannen, Glenn Heard, Dick Minor

Nominations can be completed using a nomination form found at www.agr.georgia.gov/cpf, then submitted to Andy Harrison at andy.harrison@agr.georgia.gov or by mail at:

Attn: Andy Harrison
Georgia Department of Agriculture
19 MLK Jr. Drive S.W. Room 320 Atlanta, GA 30334

The nomination deadline is Thursday, May 30, 2020. For more information or questions please contact email andy.harrison@agr.georgia.gov or call (404) 710-1196.

U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Selects Control Union Certifications as Third-Party Verification Partner

 MEMPHIS, TENN. – (May 11, 2020) – The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol (Trust Protocol) has selected Control Union Certifications North America (CUC) to implement an independent, third-party verification program for the Trust Protocol system. CUC was chosen from six applicants following a thorough selection process.

Data about Trust Protocol cotton is proven via Field to Market, measured via the Field Calculator and now will be verified by CUC.

Control Union Certifications has certified more than 150 programs worldwide, including working as a key partner in the early development and piloting phases of Field to Market’s Impact Claim Verification Protocol. CUC has also worked with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) on its third-party verification programs in multiple countries.

CUC auditors in the U.S. have a long history of working with corn, soy and canola on standards focused on land conversion, irrigation systems, water management, integrated pest management, soil protection, crop rotation and conservation practices.

U.S. cotton growers will complete a self-assessment of farming practices and share their field data through Field to Market’s Fieldprint Platform. The CUC will verify the Trust Protocol annual data that will highlight key sustainability metrics – land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency.

“We’re excited to work with Control Union as our independent, third-party verification partner,” said Ken Burton, Executive Director of the Trust Protocol. “Control Union’s agriculture standards, experience and impeccable reputation will provide brands, retailers and consumers assurance that the cotton fiber sourced through the Trust Protocol is continually improving.”

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will launch in June 2020. Ahead of the June launch date, the Trust Protocol was recently added to Textile Exchange’s list of preferred fibers and materials. For more information, please visit https://TrustUsCotton.org.

About the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol

In a period of ever greater supply chain scrutiny and a growing demand for transparency, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will set a standard for more sustainably grown cotton. It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to the issue of sustainable cotton production and drives continuous improvement in key sustainability metrics.

The Trust Protocol underpins and verifies U.S. cotton’s progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. Becoming a member of the Trust Protocol will give brands and retailers the data that provides critical assurances they need that the cotton fiber element of their supply chain is more sustainable, and free from both environmental and social risk. Brands and retailers will gain access to U.S. cotton with sustainability credentials proven via Field to Market, measured via the Field Calculator and verified with Control Union Certifications.

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is overseen by a multi-stakeholder Board of Directors comprised of representatives from brands and retailers, civil society and independent sustainability experts as well as the cotton-growing industry, including growers, ginners, merchants, wholesalers and cooperatives, mills and cottonseed handlers.

About Control Union Certifications

CUC is an international auditing company founded in the Netherlands in 2002, and now has a presence in 70 countries with 4,500 employees and over 40,000 clients worldwide, ranging from multinationals to regional producers as well as governments and NGOs. The company has a long track record of managing certification programs, including with growers and food and agriculture companies around the world. CUC is a leader in the area of sustainability initiatives, certification standards and verifications of the outcomes based on key performance indicators.

Georgia Cotton Commission Approves 2021 Research

At its April 22nd Board Meeting, the Georgia Cotton Commission Board of Directors approved $688,994 in research funding for the 2021 crop year.  This money will go to fund sixteen projects that will be conducted by researchers and extension specialists from the University of Georgia based at the Tifton, Athens, and Griffin.  Projects come from a broad range of academic disciplines.  The goal of this producer-funded research is to help the cotton producer’s bottom line by conducting research that can either raise yields, promote efficiency, or open new markets.

All projects are vetted by both the Commission Board of Directors and State Support Committee, made up of cotton producers from across the state, and the Commission’s research review committee, which is a select group up of researchers, crop consultants, and local UGA Extension Agriculture/Natural Resource agents.

“In these uncertain times, it is important now, more than ever, that we as the Georgia Cotton Commission provide impactful research to the cotton farmers of Georgia.  I am confident that the research we have provided over the years will be the keys that producers will use as they try to remain viable during this period of super depressed markets,” said GCC Chairman Bart Davis, a Colquitt County cotton farmer.

The Georgia Cotton Commission is a producer-funded organization located in Perry, Georgia. The Commission began in 1965. Georgia cotton producers pay an assessment enabling the Commission to invest in programs of research, promotion, and education on behalf of all cotton producers of Georgia. For more information about the Georgia Cotton Commission please call (478) 988-4235 or on the web at www.georgiacottoncommission.org.