ICAC Meeting Aims to Strengthen the Global Cotton Value Chain
The theme of the 73rd Plenary Meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) will be “From Land to Brand: Strengthening the Cotton Value Chain”. This annual event is one of the premier fixtures in the world cotton calendar and will be held in Thessaloniki, Greece, from November 2 to 7, 2014. The suggested theme covers a wide variety of topics, ranging from sustainable production practices, climate change, exchange of germplasm and logistics to value addition and national branding.
Open sessions will be dedicated to:
1) Strengthening Responsible Production Practices, in which representatives from producing countries will discuss their experiences with national programs of responsible cotton production, including levels of farmer participation, challenges faced in establishing benchmarks of best practices, techniques of national-level data collection, use of sub-products and impacts on farm income. The desired outcome of the session is an understanding by government officials and the private sector of characteristics of responsible cotton production programs that are common to success.
2) Prerequisites for Textile Industry Growth, including information on the elements needed for textile industry growth, such as communications and transportation infrastructure, the availability of electrical power, labor requirements, the importance of raw material quality and availability, the impacts of environmental and labor regulations, access to finance, proximity to markets, trade preferences and other factors. The aim is to develop an understanding of the prerequisites for textile industry growth that will allow government officials to determine whether increased mill use of cotton is feasible in their countries and the measures necessary to support increased mill use of cotton.
3) The Importance of Logistics, in which an analysis will be made of the characteristics of land transportation, banking, insurance, port facilities and marketing systems that result in outstanding performance, enabling delegates from countries whose logistics are less than fully competitive to return home with information that will assist with improvement.
4) National Cotton Brands, in which the topics to be explored include the differences between generic promotion and promotion of cotton within identity programs or by national industries, techniques of brand establishment and experiences with national demand enhancement programs. A desired outcome is increased understanding among producing countries of the costs involved and likely outcomes of branding. It is hoped that the session will result in increased engagement in demand enhancement activities.
Other activities include a technical seminar on “Identifying and Enhancing the Mechanism of Input Interaction in Cotton Production” and a report by the Secretariat on the outlook for cotton supply and use. In addition, breakout sessions will be held on: Price Risk Management; Climate Change and Cotton; Cotton Classification; Production Practices for the Improvement of Cotton Productivity; and the International Exchange of Cotton Germplasm.
Registration on-line will be available starting in May 2014.