Report of a Conference Call between Members of the
Task Force on Competitive Challenges
April 9, 2013
8:00 AM Washington, DC Time
 
A. B. Joshi, Sebahattin Gazanfer, Peter Johnson, Kevin Latner and Malgorzata Zimniewska, participated in the call.
Members and observers who were not available: Bruna Angel, Andreas Engelhard, Andrew Macdonald, Mark Messura and Khawaja M. Zubair
Andrei Guitchounts served as Secretariat.
 
Next Meeting:
The next conference call will be held on April 24, 2013 at the same time: 8:00 AM in Washington, DC.
 
Report of the Meeting
Discussion of issues
 
Members of the Task Force adopted the minutes of the 2nd conference call of March 26 with comments made by Andrew Macdonald.
 
Members continued discussion of major issues for inclusion in the report for delivery to the 72nd Plenary Meeting in Colombia during September/October 2013.
 
Cotton price volatility remains a major issue. Even though current volatility is low compared to the previous season it is higher than in manmade fibers and it still leads to shifts in retail to blended textiles. Shifts towards relative price stability are desirable. Government role in achieving price stability could be addressed in the report.
 
Members highlighted the importance of content labeling requirements and it should be encouraged. It was noted that the Dominican Republic just introduced the labeling requirements. It was recalled that the labeling issue was on the agenda of ICAC and IFCP several years ago and a study on the issue was made. It was proposed to examine a possibility of updating the study.
 
Members agreed on the benefits of standardization and adoption of HVI testing. Members highlighted an example of USA where large investments into the complete HVI classification system were made to achieve the goal. Other countries, including Brazil, Australia, Israel and Uzbekistan have pursued increased use of standardized testing and classification systems.  Practical steps to achieve a higher level of standardization could be discussed further. The Members endorsed the CSITC work on standardization of HVI testing around the world.
 
Members discussed the issue of sustainability of cotton production and benefits of cotton. The need to highlight the benefits of cotton vis-à-vis other fibers for human body and skin was stressed. It was noted that there are new good opportunities for cotton in cosmetic and medical textiles. 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.
 
Image of sustainability of cotton production at the farm level in terms of water and pesticide usage remains problematic, especially in Europe. The issue of sustainability and benefits of cotton production as a renewable fiber vis-à-vis polyester should be addressed, as well as carbon, and water footprint of cotton. Input on the issue from members is expected.
                                   
Next Step:
 
Task Force members will contribute their suggestions for the outline and content of the report 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 24.
 
The conference call was adjourned at 9:00 AM Washington time.
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