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US, Australia team up to launch cotton initiative

Australia and the United States have launched a program, ‘Cotton Leads’ that aims to highlight responsible and transparent ways that cotton is grown in these two countries. The new initiative includes conventional and organic upland and pima cotton grown in Australia and the United States, which together account for around 17 per cent of global cotton production. The two partners emphasize the new program will complement, rather than compete with, existing cotton sustainability certification programs.

Cotton Leads is designed to assist businesses along the cotton supply chain with their sustainability goals. Apparel brands, retailers, and manufacturers require large volumes and a reliable supply of responsibly-produced fiber as well as proof of responsible production. Cotton Leads helps demonstrate how cotton grown in the United States and Australia can help meet these requirements.

The program is committed to providing the supply chain with greater volumes of responsibly-grown cotton, to ongoing improvement, and the transparency of processes and metrics. It aims to increase the global supply of responsibly produced cotton, by including cotton from countries that demonstrate responsible production practices with transparent national reporting and regulatory enforcement.


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