Entering the 2007 season, Cotton Incorporated had six major objectives, said J. Berrye Worsham, President and CEO.
- Improve farm profitability through research,
- Develop programs to differentiate U.S. cotton in the world market,
- Meet the challenges facing cotton by other fibers in key markets,
- Enhance Cotton Incorporated’s global presence as a voice for cotton,
- Continue Cotton Incorporated’s connection with the U.S. consumer with positive messages,
- And enhance environmental/sustainability research and communications to both consumers and the industry.
“The 2007 activities that went with each of these six objectives could literally take up hours in discussions – which is what we just completed a few weeks ago at Cotton Incorporated’s annual meeting,” said Worsham.
“We have developed and or implemented new technologies for denim – cotton’s largest market – as well as in performance apparel – a market cotton has lost to synthetic fibers,” Worsham said. “We are excited about new processes developed at Cotton Incorporated that greatly improve cotton’s ability to wick away moisture like the ‘Dry-Fit’ products that use synthetic fibers.”
Worsham said Cotton Incorporated is in confidential trials with a major sportswear brand to become more competitive in that ever-growing market.
“In denim, we can now make 100% cotton denim products that stretch, and 100% cotton water-resistant denim,” he added.
“Sustainability was a major focus for Cotton Incorporated,” Worsham said. “When I speak of sustainability, I am referring to environmental issues. Sustainability can either be an opportunity, or a competitive disadvantage to U.S. cotton, depending on how we deal with it.”
Worsham said the problem with sustainability continues to be the considerable amount of misinformation related to cotton. “Our objective is to be straight forward,” he explained. “We want to continue to research, develop data and communicate cotton’s improvements – and U.S. cotton in particular – in sustainability to both consumers and to industry.
“If the day comes when eco-issues are important in the consumer buying process for apparel and home textiles, we want cotton positioned as the ‘eco-choice’ for consumers. And we want cotton as the gold standard for sustainable production.
J. Berrye Worsham
Dr. Kater Hake