Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) executive director Taylor Sills is encouraging Georgia growers to join in the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol movement.
A nationwide grower recruitment campaign was launched recently and encourages farmers to participate and ensure markets for their cotton by demonstrating the sustainability record of American cotton in the global market.
“The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is very important. It’s been established by growers through the National Cotton Council to promote sustainability efforts of the American cotton producer,” Sills said. “Many of the things that they’re asking are things that our growers are already doing. This is going to help our industry market cotton even better across the world.”
According to the Southeast AgNet website, the Trust Protocol helps U.S. growers document and showcase their land management and environmental stewardship practices while helping them achieve continuous improvement related to certain environmental sustainability measurements.
Each Georgia producer who participates commits to tracking their progress towards improving soil carbon health while seeking year over year reductions in soil erosion, overall land use, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The Trust Protocol seeks to have more than 50% of all U.S. cotton registered as Trust Protocol Cotton by 2025.
“We hear all the time, the consumer is more and more interested to know where their food and fiber comes from. The cotton industry has a great story to tell. Cotton is a natural, renewable, sustainable fiber made on a farm,” Sills said. “Here in Georgia, it’s largely by family farmers. That’s a great story to tell.”
According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, cotton was grown on 1.4 million acres in 2018 and produced a farm gate value of $792.7 million.