Throughout 2015, Cotton Council International (CCI) promoted U.S. cotton through a supply-push/demand-pull strategy to four major segments: yarn spinners, fabric/garment manufacturers, brands/retailers and consumers. In that effort, CCI utilized its COTTON USA trademark to distinguish those retail products containing a U.S. cotton majority. CCI also licensed major U.S. cotton users throughout the supply chain and promoted their products through its supply chain program. CCI's supply chain activities included providing information to prospective buyers on both U.S. cotton fiber's and U.S. manufactured cotton products' advantages.
As it also has done for many years, CCI conducted multi-media advertising in large consumer markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America for brands, retailers and consumers. Again, the COTTON USA trademark was utilized to reinforce the quality and comfort assurances of U.S. cotton and endorse products that contain a majority of U.S. cotton.
U.S. raw cotton’s visibility in the world marketplace is increasing after CCI granted licenses to several U.S. bale packaging firms to imprint the COTTON USA logo on their packaging materials.
CCI seized a unique opportunity to increase U.S. raw cotton's visibility in the world marketplace when it granted licenses to several U.S. bale packaging firms to imprint the COTTON USA logo on their packaging materials for use on U.S. bales produced during the 2015-16 season. This initiative was made possible when the National Cotton Council adopted a recommendation from the National Cotton Ginners Association.
CCI's many other dynamic activities this past year ranged from a new global COTTON USA advertising campaign to another successful Orientation Tour.
The advertising campaign was launched to inspire consumers and further spread the benefits of U.S. cotton to markets throughout the world. The campaign slogan, "I Love My Cotton," encouraged consumers and brands alike to connect with the campaign, and inspires them to share their own reasons for loving cotton. Campaign activities, designed to raise consumer awareness and increase U.S. cotton product retail sales, included retail promotions, social media contests, large-scale advertisements in high-traffic areas around the globe, and interactive consumer events.
CCI President Dahlen Hancock represented the U.S. cotton industry during CCI’s annual COTTON USA "Cotton Days" in Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Thailand.
During CCI's annual COTTON USA "Cotton Days" in Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Thailand, celebrities, fashion designers, musicians and consumers gathered across Asia to celebrate their shared love of U.S. cotton. CCI President Dahlen Hancock traveled to Asia to represent the U.S. cotton industry in each city – as Cotton Days continued a tradition of illustrating the COTTON USA brand's genuine, passionate and visionary aspects.
U.S. cotton industry representatives traveled to Mexico City; Guatemala City, and Lima, Peru as part of the 2015 COTTON USA Executive Delegation. They discussed a variety of market and trade issues with key U.S. cotton customers. The delegation hosted seminar sessions and participated in factory visits, as well as strengthened strategic relationships with regional mills and associations. The event provided attendees with valuable opportunities to network and build connections for increasing U.S. cotton exports. The participating delegates included: CCI President Hancock, Bobby Walton and Hope Brooks, III, representing the American Cotton Shippers Association; John Burch (AMCOT); Bernie Jordan and Mark Nichols (American Cotton Producers); Buxton Midyette (Supima staffer); and Vaughn Jordan (CCI staffer).
Another successful CCI event involved textile executives representing 18 countries visiting the U.S. Cotton Belt in autumn to get a close look at how U.S. cotton is produced, processed and marketed as part of the 39th COTTON USA Orientation Tour. Represented on this biennial Tour were 29 companies from Bangladesh, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. These firms were expected to consume about 3.1 million bales in 2015 while U.S. cotton exports to those firms were estimated at about 1 million bales.
Textile executives representing 18 countries visited the U.S. Cotton Belt as part of the 39th COTTON USA Orientation Tour.
CCI also carried out other successful COTTON USA Supply Chain Program events in 2015 – to facilitate business relationships and information exchange between the U.S. cotton-rich textile industry/garment manufacturing companies and global brands/retailers worldwide. COTTON USA sales events, such as Buyers' Tours and Sourcing Fairs, have become the cornerstone of CCI's Supply Chain initiative. Through these events, CCI facilitates the sourcing process for the buyers by pre-selecting suppliers and providing basic company profile information based on the buyers' needs.
Likewise, the COTTON USA Sourcing Program continued as a successful partnership between CCI and a group of U.S. cotton textile manufacturers. That Program was designed to develop business relationships along the entire cotton textile and apparel supply chain. CCI has developed relationships with some 700 companies throughout Latin America during private trade events, regional trade shows and personal visits.
Among other Sourcing Program achievements was 1) deliverance of U.S. cotton sourcing assistance to major apparel industry players at the Texworld and Première Vision trade shows in Paris, France and 2) sponsoring a U.S. cotton spinning mills delegation to meet with potential Vietnamese customers and explore the U.S. cotton yarn market potential there in preparation for Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations.