Cotton Trust Protocol Update

Cindy Zimmerman

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol recently celebrated one-year since its official launch in 2020. The Trust Protocol brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to sustainable cotton production and drives continuous improvement in six key sustainability metrics– land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency.

National Cotton Council president and CEO Dr. Gary Adams, who is also president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, says the program was created to set a new standard in more sustainable cotton and help brands and retailers meet their needs. “We’re going to have brands and retailers joining the program and looking to meet their sourcing commitments through sustainable sources,” said Adams. “We want the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol to be one of the programs on their list.”

Gary Adams, President/CEO, National Cotton Council, and President, U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol
BWCC22 Interview with Gary Adams, NCC (5:21)

In its first year, the Trust Protocol welcomed more than 465 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members and secured 950,000 bales of cotton into the system.

“This is not just for the growers, it’s for the entire industry,” said Program Enrollment Manager Ken Burton. “Brands and retailers want to make impact claims, and through our growers, this data will provide that information to make those claims.”

The program is voluntary and all of the data is aggregated so no personal information is disclosed. “And it’s not region versus region or state versus state,” he said. “That aggregate form is from the Carolinas to California.”

Ken Burton, Program Enrollment Manager, U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol
BWCC22 Interview with Ken Burton, Cotton Trust Protocol (4:35)

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