By Yash Bhatia
Cotton Council International (CCI) hosted a COTTON USA SOLUTIONS seminar in Coimbatore, India, on Dec. 17, the first in-person event there since September 2019. More than 65 participants representing 25 mills—including 14 COTTON USA licensees—attended the event. The mills attending the seminar have a cumulative annual cotton consumption of 3.3 million bales, of which more than 165,000 bales are U.S. cotton.
A post-event survey showed that these mills are expected to buy an additional 64,000 bales of U.S. cotton as a result of attending the seminar.
Two CCI technical consultants gave COTTON USA SOLUTIONS presentations to the group regarding fiber selection insights from the COTTON USA MILL MASTERY courses.
The presentation included an introduction to the the five COTTON USA SOLUTIONS offerings, plus the importance of fiber selection, which included a live demo. Another seminar outlined the importance of bale management, which included optimization of cotton processing and choosing the right selection for the right application.
Supima President and CEO Marc Lewkowitz presented updates on the Supima crop, prices, production and trade. India is the largest consumer of Supima fiber, and Supima is less than 0.5% of the global cotton production. Lewkowitz’s presentation also highlighted the importance of communication, collaboration and building better partnerships through responsible, authentic, fair, equitable and honest conversations based on facts and focused on positive outcomes.
CCI next presented updates on U.S. cotton’s sustainability record, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol — the value proposition of the program and how the program’s verified trackable equivalency solution is providing a transparent supply chain in the textile business.
The leadership from the Indian and Sri Lankan textile industry also participated in a panel discussion to deliberate on what’s next for cotton in 2022. The panel consisted of leading mills and U.S. cotton merchants. Takeaways were:
- Indian mills are investing in additional spinning capacity in the coming 2 to 3 years.The importance of collaboration in the textile supply chains.
- Spinning mills have improved efficiencies during COVID while working remotely.
- Indian mills need to use tools like other South Asian counterparts to manage volatility
- Data-driven programs like the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol® will gain importance in the future.
- India will continue to drive cotton consumption.
- The perception and cost of stickiness and the High Volume Instrument (HVI) testing equipment for cotton stickiness.
Post-survey results showed that 94% of the attendees were satisfied with the COTTON USA SOLUTIONS seminar, 94% were familiar with COTTON USA SOLUTIONS and 48% were very likely to use COTTON USA SOLUTIONS services.
Meanwhile, 94% of the attendees feel that U.S. cotton is better compared to cotton of other origins.