Participants who attended the 2022 Sourcing USA Summit expect to purchase an additional 2.8 million bales of U.S. cotton, valued at approximately $1.2 billion. The Sourcing USA Summit is funded in part by the Market Access Program (MAP) and U.S. cotton industry contributions.
Every two years, Cotton Council International (CCI), brings together international cotton executives and representatives from the U.S. cotton industry at the Sourcing USA Summit for a series of presentations and networking events. Cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 350 business leaders from 30 different countries attended the return of the Sourcing USA Summit held in Aventura, Florida in November 2022. Combined, the participating mill companies consume 17 million bales of cotton per year, representing 43% of global cotton imports. The Summit was not only an opportunity to educate and convince this important audience on the advantages of U.S. cotton, but to build relationships between U.S. cotton buyers and sellers to drive future exports of U.S. cotton.
U.S. cotton faces several challenges in the world market including competing growths, competing fibers, and most importantly price. Often, U.S. cotton sells at a premium compared to other growths and manmade fibers, which translates into a competitive disadvantage for U.S. cotton. Additionally, while U.S. cotton has a reputation as a high-quality input, many mills do not understand how that translates into benefits and added value that justifies the price premium for U.S. cotton. During the Summit’s carefully curated Business Program, participants learned more about programs such as the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol®, the leading standard for sustainable cotton production backed by quantifiable and verifiable data, and COTTON USA SOLUTIONS®, the world’s leading cotton consultancy. Both programs are available exclusively to U.S. cotton customers and help companies achieve peak performance despite the higher cost of U.S. cotton.
CCI also introduced Summit participants to the COTTON USA Mill Performance Index™ (MPI), the newest addition to its COTTON USA SOLUTIONS® services. The MPI collects data from spinning mills around the world and measures mill productivity across five key cost drivers: material yield, machine productivity, labor productivity, efficiency management, and energy management. The MPI allows mill owners to see how they compare to their peers and how using U.S. cotton can benefit them. Current program data shows that mills with higher percentages of U.S. cotton usage operate more effectively than their competitors, clearly demonstrating the operational advantages of U.S. cotton.
After attending, 92% of participants agreed the Summit provided information on the global cotton industry that will help their companies better prepare for the future and 76% of mill participants agreed the Summit educated or convinced them of the advantages of U.S cotton versus alternatives. 42 companies indicated they were interested in learning more about COTTON USA SOLUTIONS® and 8 mills signed up to join the MPI.
In addition to the Business Program, the Summit serves as CCI’s largest sales activity by bringing international cotton buyers together with U.S. cotton sellers to build new business relationships through the Summit’s various networking activities. 98% of the participants were satisfied with the networking events and 93% agreed their participation allowed them to develop new business contacts. 100% of mill participants are likely to purchase U.S. cotton in the future as a result of attending.