The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol announced on World Cotton Day that it had increased grower participation to include over 1,000 members since the program’s launch in 2020. There are now Trust Protocol growers in each of the 17 cotton-producing states. This follows the announcement that the program had doubled the number of U.S. cotton growers participating in the program with an estimated 1.1 million acres enrolled.
World Cotton Day highlights cotton’s role in providing jobs and maintaining economic stability to communities around the world. It is also a time to highlight cotton’s sustainability progress. In the United States there are approximately 16,000 cotton farms supporting local and global economies. As more producers are seeing the effects of climate change and limited natural resources, there has been an increased interest in sustainable growing practices which has led to greater awareness of the Trust Protocol and its mission to bring quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to the key sustainability metrics of U.S. cotton production.
“On World Cotton Day we want to celebrate our U.S. cotton growers, who are at the forefront of innovation, quality, and responsible stewardship.” said Dr. Gary Adams, President of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “We are pleased to see that more and more growers are interested in learning about and enrolling in the program to ensure that the U.S. remains a leading producer of sustainable cotton to markets around the world.”
The Trust Protocol’s vision is to set a new standard in sustainable cotton production where full transparency is a reality and continuous improvement is the central goal. The program’s core values include a commitment to U.S. cotton’s legacy of authenticity, innovation and excellence, environmental stewardship, caring of people, and personal and corporate integrity. The program currently has over 800 members across the supply chain, including mills and manufacturers, and brands and retailers such as Ralph Lauren Corporation, Gap Inc., Levi Strauss & Co. and J.Crew.
Recently the Trust Protocol was announced as the lead and recipient of the U.S. Climate Smart Cotton Program, which will receive funding as one of those selected as part of the USDA Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities pilot projects. The U.S. Climate Smart Cotton Program will provide technical and financial assistance to 1,650 U.S. cotton farmers to advance adoption of climate smart conservation practices on 1.2M acres. This will allow for production of over 4M bales of climate smart cotton for brand and retailer partners over five years.
The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, recognized by Textile Exchange and Forum for the Future, and part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Cotton 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, Cotton 2040 and Cotton Up initiatives. It has also been recognized and published in the ITC Standards Map, recognized as a standard for sustainable cotton by the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, and is an ISEAL Community Member.