The Cotton Board voted to recommend Cotton Incorporated’s proposed 2016 budget of $76 million to the Secretary of Agriculture, during the organization’s annual meeting in Miami.
The recommendation represents a $4 million decrease from the 2015 budget. Based on projected collections, The Cotton Board will draw approximately $8 million from reserves to fund the program in 2016.
Even with a reduction in the overall 2016 budget, funds for consumer-based programs will increase, with the goal of building cotton’s market share. A new ad campaign and a tighter focus on research and marketing areas that will yield the greatest returns for the industry head the priorities for the coming year.
In Cotton Incorporated’s 2016 plan, many longer-term focused research programs will be streamlined in order to increase funding for the company’s new “Favorites” advertising campaign. This campaign – which is based on consumer research – features a strong reminder to consumers as to why their cotton garments tend to be their favorites. There is an additional call-to-action message to check the fiber-content label before buying.
Television advertising will remain an important medium for 2016, but the new campaign was designed to also work effectively in digital media and with Cotton Incorporated’s supply chain marketing activities.
The budget and plan – along with The Cotton Board’s recommendation of approval – will be forwarded to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for final approval.
The Cotton Board also elected new officers for the 2015/2016 Program year. Aaron Barcellos, a cotton producer from Los Banos, CA, will serve as Chairman.
“Over the years, I’ve grown very attached to the cotton industry, and I am grateful for this opportunity to give back just a portion of what it has meant to me and my family,” said Barcellos. “My goal for the coming year is to continue to foster the excellent relationship we have with Cotton Incorporated and to use all of our resources to help reverse the current downtrend in cotton’s market share. There are many people in the cotton industry who are depending on us to make a difference, and I believe that together we can.”
“Aaron has a distinguished record of service to The Cotton Board,” said outgoing Chairman David Grant from Garysburg, NC. “He consistently tackles challenges with great character, thoughtfulness and determination, and I know he’ll do the same as he leads our Program.”
Also elected were:
- Vice-Chair – Janet Ydavoy, importer from Yardley, PA;
- Secretary – George LaCour, Jr., producer from Morganza, LA;
- Treasurer – Peter McGrath, importer from Dallas, TX.
Source – The Cotton Board