Report of a Conference Call between Members of the
Task Force on Competitive Challenges
June 26, 2013
8:00 AM Washington, DC Time
 
Bruna Angel, A. B. Joshi, Sebahattin Gazanfer, Kevin Latner, Malgorzata Zimniewska and Khawaja M. Zubair participated in the call.
Members and observers who were not available: Andreas Engelhard, Peter Johnson, Andrew Macdonald and Mark Messura.
Terry Townsend and Andrei Guitchounts served as Secretariat.
 
Next Meeting:
The next conference call will be held on July 17, 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 5th conference call of June 5.
 
Members invited Allan Williams, the Chair of SEEP to discuss the latest developments in drafting a report of the panel covering issues of sustainable production and identity initiatives. Mr. Williams informed members that the report will focus on identifying the core indicators for measuring sustainability in cotton production and in agriculture in general and should provide framework of sustainability measurement for stakeholders, international community and governments. The indicators under discussion include pest and pesticide measurement, water and land use, economic viability, food security, poverty reduction and working conditions. Members discussed the difficulties in obtaining a reliable data for use in measuring indicators and challenges in comparing (ranking) indicators for agricultural commodities with industrial products, such as polyester. The report will be discussed at the 72nd Plenary Meeting in Cartagena.
 
Members noted that cotton (except for organic) was evaluated as a non-sustainable fiber in the EU.  Members agreed that it is important to communicate the sustainable characteristics of cotton to relevant EU standards development bodies and share key factors of sustainable production, including improvements in water, pesticide and land use with consumers, brands and retailers. Members expressed support for initiatives that are aimed at improving sustainability of cotton production. It was noted that sustainability issues are becoming increasingly important for major brands and retailers and much work needs to be done on communicating and educating the and consumers on the sustainability of cotton production.
 
Members discussed the role of the ICAC in cotton promotion. It was noted that ICAC sponsored the creation of the IFCP to assist promotional efforts. Members highlighted the importance of educating retailers and consumers on health benefits of cotton. It was suggested to invite Mr. Silberman, Executive Director of the IFCP to report on the organization promotional activities.
 
                                   
Next Step:
At the next conference call members will discuss the outline of the report content. 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 July 17.
 
The conference call was adjourned at 9:00 AM Washington time.
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