Earlier this week at Cotton Inc.’s Cotton Competitive Conference, Dr. Bob Nichols, Senior Director of Agricultural and Environmental Research for Cotton Inc. spoke to the cotton industry’s ability to band together to solve problems and achieve specific goals unlike other agricultural commodities:
“Historically cotton has been successful because it has had internal cohesiveness. The National Cotton Council has provided a great deal of leadership by representing the seven segments of the industry and working through issues. Cotton has been successful because the industry has been willing to pull together to talk about problems and try to solve them. Historically cotton has had things that could have knocked cotton out all together. Several research efforts have helped to keep it a viable crop and fiber. The things that cotton has been able to accomplish by working together and using appropriate technology, we have a tremendous history of success. Facing challenges is business as usual.
Some of the challenges for cotton include continuing problems of marketing because take Coke, they haven’t stopped marketing, we are well positioned and have the Seal of Cotton working for us, but we need to reach out to a new generation so that people will prefer cotton and recognize cotton and young people will look at fiber composition and understand that its cotton making the garment comfortable.”
The Cotton Competitive Conference was scheduled as a lead-in to USDA’s annual Standards Conference in Raleigh. Cotton Inc. President and CEO Barrye Warsharm predicted hosting the event again probably bi-annually.