Report of a Conference Call between Members of the
Task Force on Competitive Challenges
March 26, 2013
8:00 AM Washington, DC Time
 
Andreas Engelhard, A. B. Joshi, Sebahattin Gazanfer, Kevin Latner, Andrew Macdonald, Malgorzata Zimniewska, and Khawaja M. Zubair participated in the call.
Members and observers who were not available: Bruna Angel, Mark Messura
Andrei Guitchounts served as Secretariat.
 
Next Meeting:
The next conference call will be held on April 9, 2013 at the same time: 8:00 AM in Washington, DC.
 
Report of the Meeting
Outline of Work:
 
Members of the Task Force adopted the minutes of the 1st conference call of March 12.
Members discussed major issues for the outline of the report for delivery to the 72nd Plenary Meeting in Colombia during September/October 2013. Members suggested that the report could focus on the following Issues.
 
Cotton price volatility is one of the features negatively affecting competitiveness of cotton. Government policies and direct government interventions in cotton markets are among factors causing high volatility. Governments could be asked to heighten transparency in cotton polices, and to improve information and statistics on cotton supplies and stocks.
 
Speculation is another factor causing volatility in cotton prices. Efforts on designing and introducing World Cotton Contract should be supported and governments could play a role in facilitating establishment of multiple cotton delivery points around the world for major cotton growths, and that should result in lower price volatility by increasing contract flexibility and a reduction of the impact currently enjoyed by speculators.
 
All Governments should be urged to permit the cotton trade within their respective countries, access to international hedging facilities without financial restrictions. In those countries which impose foreign exchange restrictions, to avoid the out flow of margin calls, purchasing options should be permitted as being a fixed and one time limited expense/remittance.
 
Governments could be urged to introduce and strengthen content labeling legislation and an enforcement of it. It was proposed that the Secretariat should update the earlier study on content labeling.
 
The Members endorsed the CSITC work on standardization of HVI testing. It was noted that India is aiming at legislation on marking and labeling (electronic), trying to introduce it for cotton at the ginning stage.
 
The issue of sustainability of cotton production should be a key issues in this report vis-à-vis other fibers and it should be addressed in an objective way, including major aspects, such as social, economic and environmental.
 
Benefits of cotton fiber should be highlighted in the report. The IFCP report on benefits of cotton could be used as the base. Cotton Incorporated work on new technologies to improve use of cotton in new products could be a contribution. Advantageous properties of cotton should be highlighted.
                                   
Next Step:
 
Task Force members will contribute their suggestions for the outline and content of the report and specifically: on world cotton contract (Andrew Macdonald), on benefits of cotton (Malgorzata Zimniewska) and on consumer response to cotton (Kevin Latner). All members are invited to send their additional thoughts to Kevin Latner at klatner@cotton.org, and Andrei Guitchounts at Andrei@ICAC.org for compilation and distribution prior to the next conference call on April 9.
 
The conference call was adjourned at 9:00 AM Washington time.
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