GCC Encourages Members to Enroll in Cotton Trust Protocol

Clint Thompson Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC)

By Clint Thompson

The Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) reminds its members about the value of joining the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, a significant marketability tool for the state’s cotton producers.

Chaz Holt, Grower Enrollment Specialist in the Southeast for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, discussed the value of producers enrolling, specifically with his area of focus, the Climate Smart Cotton Program.

“It’s helping us help the grower. We’re just trying to read the forecast and look at the world market and be competitive as a U.S. cotton brand. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is a good way of doing that,” Holt said. “We are able to verify and create trust across the supply chain when it comes to world competition. By getting out there and being ahead with this verification process we have, it just makes our cotton over the long term, hopefully, more marketable.”

The Cotton Trust Protocol was launched in 2020 and was established to drive continuous improvement across six key sustainability metrics – water use, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, soil conservation, soil carbon and land use.

Those interested in joining the protocol can click here.

“Starting in January, the Cotton Trust Protocol re-enrolls current members but also will be recruiting new members. We do that through our cotton gins and other marketer partners,” Holt said. “That’ll start, and then the Cotton Trust Protocol, managing the Climate Smart grant issued payments. Growers that are members are currently going to start to see their incentive payments coming in payment form in either December or early spring by becoming a member last year.”

Climate Smart Program

Holt’s area of focus is the Climate Smart Program, a five-year pilot that provides technical and financial assistance to 1,650 cotton producers in the country. It hopes to advance the adoption of climate smart conservation practices on more than a million acres, produce 4.2 million bales of climate smart cotton over five years, and demonstrate 1.14 million metric tons of CO2e reductions and $290M in economic benefits to farmers.

“There are some incentives being mentioned out across the marketplace for becoming a cotton trust protocol member through our climate smart grant. Here in the future, we’re hearing there maybe, some market-based incentives from brands and retailers,” Holt said.