Representatives from more than 420 leading global sourcing companies and members of the U.S. cotton industry gathered in Scottsdale, AZ November 11-14 for COTTON USA’s Sourcing USA Summit.
The Summit, held biennially, provides networking opportunities and features business forums on topics affecting the global cotton industry. The goal of the conference is to help ensure ongoing promotion of cotton and COTTON USA and increasing U.S. cotton sales in the face of continuing competition from man-made fibers.
“The Sourcing USA Summit will have a definite impact on U.S. cotton fiber exports,” CCI President Jordan Lea said. “The whole industry met in one place, and the networking opportunities will pay off. We were able to spend quality time with customers from all over the world, and to tell our story to illustrate U.S. cotton’s quality and our industry’s value-added services.”
Lea said an integral part of that story is that cotton is “a great product that is natural, comfortable, real and fashionable. And, it adds value throughout the supply chain. It’s cool and casual, as in denim jeans and cotton T-shirts, and it is the fabric of choice for the hottest fashion designers.
“U.S. cotton producers and manufacturers use inventiveness, persistence and the latest technology to bring out the best in nature,” he added. “By the time U.S. cotton gets to the market, it is a first-class, high-value material.”
Among the notable Summit speakers were Thomas Glaser, vice president, VF Corporation, and president, Supply Chain, and Steven Sare, senior vice president, Fast Retailing Group, and chief merchandising officer, UNIQLO USA. Both companies are avid cotton users. Each spoke of technology’s importance and the need for responsibility in production – both of which are part of U.S. cotton’s promise to the supply chain, all the way to consumers.
Gary Adams, the National Cotton Council’s vice president, Economics & Policy Analysis, said rebuilding demand is important as the supply/demand forecast points to a continued large supply of stocks, especially in China. Jeff Rosensweig, an Emory University professor, forecast a global economic recovery that will drive demand for apparel, especially in developing countries.
The Summit – organized in cooperation with Cotton Council International (CCI), Cotton Incorporated and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service – provides the U.S. cotton industry an opportunity to emphasize its commitment to responsible cotton production and to its global cotton supply chain partners.
Source – Cotton Council International