U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Names Directors

    Photo: Nick McMichen

    The inaugural Board of Directors has been named for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol (Trust Protocol), a new standard developed to help the U.S. cotton production sector further reduce its footprint by enabling producers to assess their performance against specific sustainability goals.

    Through robust data inputs, the Trust Protocol will add confidence throughout the supply chain – positioning U.S. cotton as the responsible choice for mills and retailers.

    The appointees include delegates from across the supply chain, leading industry, scientific and academic experts as well as representatives from environmental organizations.

    “We are proud to announce the appointment of the Trust Protocol’s first-ever board of directors,” said Ken Burton, Trust Protocol executive director. “This group of individuals bring unmatched expertise within the cotton industry, a thorough understanding of the sustainability challenges facing the textile industry and experience within the retail sector. Working together, the board will ensure the protocol will meet sustainability requirements throughout the supply chain and provide an unmatched level of transparency and accountability.”

    Directors representing the raw cotton industry include:

    • Producers – Matt Coley (Georgia); Ted Schneider (Louisiana); Shawn Holladay (Texas); and Aaron Barcellos (California);
    • Ginner – David Blakemore (Missouri);
    • Marketing Cooperative – Hank Reichle (Mississippi);
    • Merchant – Steve Dyer (Tennessee);
    • Cottonseed – Fred Serven (Tennessee);
    • Manufacturer – Jim Martin (North Carolina);
    • Brands/Retailers are Liza Schillo, Levi Strauss & Co., and Joe Little, Tesco;
    • Suzy Friedman, Environmental Defence Fund; Melissa Ho, the World Wildlife Fund; Marty Matlock, the University of Arkansas; and Garry Bell, formerly with Gildan.

    Trust Protocol advisors include:  Jesse Daystar, Cotton Incorporated; Andy Jordan, Jordan Consulting; Marc Lewkowitz, Supima; Mark Pryor, The Seam; and Mike Quinn, Frontier Spinning Mills.

    After initiation of a pilot earlier this year, full implementation is scheduled for 2020 for the Trust Protocol, which is aimed at helping U.S. cotton achieve by 2025 these national sustainability goals:

    • 13% Increase in productivity, i.e. reduced land use per pound of fiber;
    • 18% Increase in irrigation efficiency;
    • 39% Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions;
    • 15% Reduction in energy expenditures;
    • 50% Reduction in soil loss; and
    • 30% Increase in soil carbon.

    The directors will govern the Trust Protocol, which has a mission of meeting U.S. cotton customers’ sustainability needs and providing transparency on cotton industry efforts to promote farmer economic livelihood, environmental stewardship, caring of people and community, and personal and corporate integrity.

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