Cotton USA Seminar on “Peak Performance & Sustainable Sourcing” highlighted Sustainable cotton and garment production

Cotton USA, a leading U.S. cotton fiber promoter and manufacturer of cotton products, arranged a seminar on ‘Peak Performance & Sustainable Sourcing’ on 29th May 2023 at a hotel in Dhaka. This program was aimed to share how US cotton is superior in quality and how Cotton USA solutions are helping the industry to increase machine productivity, labor productivity, higher yield in carded and combed yarn, etc.

Bangladesh needs high-quality US cotton to fuel its growth and increase its foreign exchange earnings, while American consumers rely on sustainable, high-quality garments produced in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is the second largest importer of cotton and importing sustainable cotton from the US is a major win for both countries, told US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter D Haas. He was speaking at the seminar as a special guest. He also applauded the decision of lifting the fumigation requirement for US cotton saying that this is a major win that will unlock US potential in this growing market.  

Figure-01: Peter D Haas, US Ambassador to Bangladesh

 “Through substantial cooperation and collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh, led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and immense support from the cotton industry, Bangladesh conducted a risk assessment and concluded that US growers, as of May 16, can now ship cotton to Bangladesh without any market access barriers,” he added. He also said that working together with Bangladesh to solve this issue is a great example of how these two countries can collaborate to increase prosperity and remove trade barriers. “Bangladesh is the seventh largest export market for US cotton, exceeding $475 million in export value in 2022. Previously, fumigation imposed a days-long delay in the delivery of US cotton,” he added. He also said that US cotton is the best in the world, high-quality and sustainable—and they have the data to prove it.

Bangladesh’s leadership in the global garment industry also comes with expectations and obligations. “These include not just sourcing high-quality and sustainably grown cotton and producing good quality products, but also ensuring good, safe working conditions where workers’ rights and dignity are respected,” he added. He urged the brands to play a crucial role in using sustainably sourced cotton, pushing for fairer pricing, and improving labor rights, particularly on freedom of association and collective bargaining in the RMG sector.

As special guests Sonja Chapman, Chairman, Cotton Board; Mark Nichols, Vice-Chairman, Cotton Board & Cotton Producer; Bill Gillon, President & CEO, Cotton Board; Laurie Rando, Board Member-Cotton Board, Senior Director of Sustainability, Macy’s; Elizabeth King, Vice President of Importer Relations, Cotton Board; James Johnson, Chairman Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors & Cotton Producer; Mark Messura, Senior Vice President, Cotton Incorporated;  William Kimbrell, Chief Operating Officer, Cotton Incorporated were present. Ali Arsalan, Representative, Cotton Council International hosted the full event and gave the closing remarks of such a knowledge-sharing session.

Currently, 100 Bangladeshi companies are partners of the US Cotton Trust Protocol. The program also widely introduced Cotton USA solutions; the cotton consultancy service to uphold the next level of business transformation for greater profitability, improved productivity, and the latest techniques by Cotton Council International (CCI).  Around 200 stakeholders from different factories, brands, technology providers, and cotton specialists attended the event.

Figure-02: William Bettendorf, Director of South Asia, Cotton Council International
Figure-03: Mark Messura, Senior Vice President- Cotton Incorporated
Figure-04: William Kimbrell, Chief Operation Officer of Cotton Incorporated
Figure-05: Stephanie Thiers-Ratcliffe, European Director, Cotton Council International
Figure-06: Sheikh H M Mustafiz, Managing Director of Cute Dress Industries Ltd.
Ali Arsalan, the Bangladesh representative of Cotton Council International

William Bettendorf, Director of South Asia, Cotton Council International shared a CCI update. Mark Messura, Senior Vice President- Cotton Incorporated shared cotton market update and cotton supply & demand. Stephanie Thiers-Ratcliffe, European Director, Cotton Council International spoke about “The US Cotton Trust Protocol”. Sheikh H M Mustafiz, Managing Director of Cute Dress Industries Ltd. shared his experience of using US cotton to manufacture Sustainable Garments. He also shared what Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is doing to achieve SDG goals by 2030 as a representative of BGMEA. William Kimbrell, Chief Operation Officer of Cotton Incorporated, discussed “Cotton; grown from the earth, return to the earth”. Ali Arsalan, the representative of Cotton Council International, discussed “Peak Performance with Cotton USA Solutions for USCTP Supply Chain Partners.”

In the panel discussion on “Producing & Sourcing Sustainable Raw Materials” Moderated by Ali Arsalan, the speakers- cotton producers from the USA and factory owners in Bangladesh enlightened the audience with their manufacturing and using experience.

Cotton Council International (CCI) has 60+ years of experience promoting U.S. cotton fiber and products to traders and consumers. Cotton USA is proudly offering the following solutions to the spinning millers for achieving higher efficiency, reducing costs and assuring optimum quality-

  • Mill Studies
  • Technical Seminars
  • Mill Exchange Program
  • Mill Consultants
  • Mill Mastery™ Courses

Around 100+ factories are US Cotton Trust Protocol Members in Bangladesh who can enjoy these services as complimentary. The rest of the mills also can benefit from this service with a license which will cost 500$ per year. Meanwhile, as Bangladesh relaxed the mandatory requirement of performing fumigation of the cotton imported from the United States, the RMG manufacturers of the country have long been urged duty-free market facility for readymade garments (RMG) made from imported US cotton.