Australian cotton was well represented in China last week at a Conference for nearly 300 Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) members who are sourcing BCI cotton from around the globe.
Cotton Australia Chairman Simon Corish, Board member Nigel Burnett and his wife Beth, ACSA Chairman Cliff White and Cotton to Market Project Lead Brooke Summers all made presentations during the one-day event. Tony Geitz from Louis Dreyfus Commodities and Tom Zheng from CNCG were also in attendance.
Brooke’s presentation focused on the importance of collaboration and partnerships in the Australian cotton journey, Simon gave practical examples of water use efficiency, Nigel looked at the practices that contribute to Australian cotton quality and Cliff gave an Australian cotton market update. Brooke also facilitated a Q&A panel discussion with Simon, Nigel and two Chinese BCI farmers to share stories, challenges and perspectives on BCI.
“These opportunities to promote the Australian cotton story directly to our customers can’t be underestimated. We had very positive feedback about our product and our involvement in BCI and the message back to growers is that BCI continues to gain traction,” Cotton Australia Chairman Simon Corish says.
“BCI cotton is targeting to make up over 14% of the global cotton production this year. We heard from two major brands at the Conference, H&M and C&A, about their 100% sustainable cotton targets and a move to circular economies. That means that at the moment, 85% of Australia’s cotton is not acceptable to these brands by their definitions of what’s sustainable and that’s one reason this work and myBMP is so important to our industry,” Mr Corish says.
Nigel, Beth, Cliff and Brooke also attended meetings and factory visits with a number of suppliers to the Australian cotton brands that Cotton Australia is working with as part of the Cotton to Market program.