The United States and Brazil have not always been on speaking terms when it comes to cotton. Trade issues, World Trade Organization disputes and shear competition have been the name of the game. But this week the National Cotton Council met with its Brazilian counterpart ABRAPA and issued a joint statement.
Worries over the declining use of cotton have both countries talking about ways to work together to show the sustainability of the crop as a key fiber source for textile users. What follows is the complete statement issued Wednesday explaining the importance of the meeting. Here's the joint statement:
Cotton industry leaders from Brazil and the United States met in Atlanta, Georgia, to discuss issues of mutual concern and to search for avenues of greater cooperation. Sergio De Marco, President of ABRAPA, Brazil's national cotton producer organization, led a delegation of Brazilian cotton leaders. Chuck Coley, Chairman of the National Cotton Council, led the U.S. delegation.
The meeting focused on risk management, cotton's sustainability and international promotion. Every cotton producer has been impacted by the extraordinary price volatility exhibited by the cotton futures market since early 2008. Price volatility disrupts orderly market activities and creates costly uncertainty that market participants must address.
Cotton is being challenged in the retail market to demonstrate its sustainability. The Brazilian and U.S. cotton industries have individually taken steps to address these concerns. It was recognized that collaborative actions would produce greater recognition of cotton's contribution to environmental improvement.
Cotton's share of the world fiber market has been eroded as synthetic fibers have gained ground. Promotion programs acquainting the world's consumers to the benefits of the cotton apparel and textiles are vital to securing cotton's future. Brazil and U.S. cotton industries are strong supporters of promotion programs. They will explore opportunities to jointly enhance consumer awareness.
The joint statement appeared on both the NCC and ABRAPA's website.