CRDC is collaborating with Cotton Australia and the Australian Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA) to develop a strategic roadmap for the Australian cotton industry that will help the industry remain competitive in a changing fashion and textiles market.
Five key topic areas will be addressed via broad consultation with growers and the industry: traceability, industry data, sustainably-certified cotton/myBMP program, human rights, and Australian cotton marketing.
The industry will work together to determine where it would like to be on these key topics, how it will get there, who will be responsible and how any new initiatives may be funded.
The need for this strategic roadmap has emerged from changes occurring in the global cotton and textile landscape. Changes like new overseas legislation affecting market access, companies being required to report on social and environmental impacts, and global frameworks requiring evidence of social and environmental governance back to farm level.
Cotton Australia chair, cotton grower Nigel Burnett said that Australia has a unique opportunity to capitalise on its small, geographically contained industry, three decades of sustainablity work, and a strong human rights record through the roadmap.
“We’re excited to be working across the industry on these key topics to create value for our farmers and the industry as well as delivering a product our customers want,” Nigel said.
“Put simply, this important process is about responding to our customer requirements and enabling Australian cotton to secure market access by demonstrating our commitment to a sustainable and responsible supply chain.
CRDC’s Allan Williams said the supply chain is shifting its focus from physical cotton to information about where and how the cotton was produced.
“While the roles and responsibilities of industry and commercial organisations when it comes to producing and moving physical cotton through the supply chain are well established, the same can’t be said about the information,” Allan said.
“What information do we need to provide? Who is responsible for collecting, storing and providing it? How do we best share that information, safely and securely? This roadmap will help us answer these questions, and help ensure that our cotton remains a product of choice because of its excellent fibre qualities and its sustainable production practices.”