(NAFB)--The National Cotton Council of America and its export promotion arm Cotton Council International have joined with Cotton Australia and Cotton Incorporated as founding members of COTTON LEADS. The initiative is aimed at raising awareness of the responsible growing practices among U.S. and Australian cotton producers - who account for roughly 17-percent of global cotton production. CCI Executive Director Kevin Latner says U.S. and Australian cotton users can take confidence in the COTTON LEADS core principles - which are built upon a track record of responsible production practices and a commitment to continuing improvement. Berrye Worsham - Cotton Incorporated President and CEO - says all involved are committed to providing the supply chain with greater volumes of responsibly-grown cotton. He says apparel brands, retailers and manufacturers require large volumes and a reliable supply of responsibly-produced fiber. Through COTTON LEADS - Worsham says they can demonstrate how cotton grown in the U.S. and Australia can help meet these requirements.
The core principles for COTTON LEADS include COMMITMENT to the social, environmental, economic and regulatory factors to produce world-class cotton; RECOGNITION that sustainable and responsible cotton production requires continual improvement, investment, research and sharing of best practices information among growers and industry; UNDERSTANDING that leading change in responsible and sustainable cotton practices will have the most positive impact when implemented in collaboration with farm, regional, national and international programs; BELIEF in the benefit of working cooperatively with similar programs that seek to advance responsible and sustainable cotton production in an effort to keep global cotton competitive in world fiber markets; and CONFIDENCE in a cotton identification system that ensures traceability from farm to manufacturer.