GCC Highlights Cotton Trust Protocol During Annual Meeting

Clint Thompson Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC)

By Clint Thompson

The Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) reminds producers about the importance of enrolling in the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. It was one of the topics highlighted during the commission’s annual meeting on Jan. 26.

Kent Fountain

Kent Fountain, chairman of the National Cotton Council, discussed the importance of growers continuing to enroll in the program, now that it is more than a year old.

“This is really driven by the consumer. The consumers are really driving this whole sustainability platform. We created the Cotton Trust Protocol so we would have our own platform and better tell our story. That’s really what it is,” Fountain said. “We’re just telling our story. It’s got to be told, and it’s got to be verified. That’s where the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol comes in. I think we’re going to do great. We’ve just got to get producers onboard.”

The Trust Protocol helps U.S. growers document and highlight their land management and environmental stewardship practices while helping them achieve continuous improvement related to certain environmental sustainability measurements.

Each participating Georgia producer commits to track 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.

“As most know, we are exporting about 85% of our cotton that we produce. The U.S. mills are very important to us. But unfortunately some of that has moved offshore. We’ve got to have those U.S. customers and export customers. If we don’t somebody will,” Fountain said.