Cotton Inc. hosted a Cotton Competitive Conference prior to USDA’s Universal Standards Conference and Berrye Worsham, President and CEO of Cotton Inc. explains the purpose of the meeting:
“It was a great opportunity to dove tail USDA’s Universal Standards Conference. This part of it is dealing with the competitive issues of cotton, what are the issues that are facing cotton that we need to address in order to be more competitive and create demand in the industry. There are quite a few from the growing of cotton all the way to the consumer.
We have a very diverse crowd here, researchers, USDA, cotton interest organizations, mills and growers. All of them have a strong vested interest in cotton. This is the industry that will have to make the breakthroughs and creative ideas. We want to be sure we include the mills in this thinking, it’s still a viable business here in the US and about 70 % US cotton is exported. Of the mills that are used in the US, most of that cotton is exported and may eventually come back to the US.
Competition for acres is happening every year. We have also seen in the last decade the impact of relative price on cotton acres is even greater than it used to be. Growers are diversifying and cotton has to compete so the value has to be competitive with other crops. So demand creation is so important to keep prices up.
One of the new dimensions as we are competing with other crops, we are also competing with the fuel industry because the demand for corn is going to ethanol.”
Berrye Worsham, President & CEO of Cotton Inc.