Twenty-four executives from mills in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan attended the first-ever COTTON USA SOLUTIONS™ Executive Mill Mastery™ Course in Dubai in August of 2022. The training program targeted spinning mill executives for a five-day-long program that gave participants an intensive look at the benefits of using U.S. cotton in their operations. The south Asian region is one of the largest consumers of cotton fiber in the world, accounting for an estimated 37 percent of global cotton consumption in 2021-22. As the region shifts toward manufacturing more high-end products, there is an opportunity to increase U.S. exports, but they face strong competition from other markets, primarily due to lower prices.
To remain leaders in the region, Cotton Council International’s strategy focuses on programs such as COTTON USA SOLUTIONS™, the world’s leading cotton consultancy, that help develop a performance and technical argument for U.S. cotton, thus justifying a price premium. COTTON USA SOLUTIONS™ activities in the south Asian region are aimed at educating mills on how to mange U.S. cotton in the manufacturing process to maximize quality without sacrificing profit. Mills are taught to recognize the total cost of production, including the savings that come from using contamination-free cotton, an advantage of U.S. cotton, which results in less machine maintenance and fewer claims from downstream customers, ultimately saving the mill money. The service has been well received in the region and since its launch in the second half of 2019, COTTON USA SOLUTIONS™ activities have added over 40,000 bales to the supply chain, valued at more than $14 million.
The COTTON USA SOLUTIONS™ Executive Mill Mastery™ Course builds on existing technical servicing activities in the region, taking them to the next level. During the course, participants attended 12 educational modules that covered all aspects of handling U.S. cotton, from purchasing to final textile production. The course also included a profitability module, which gave participants practical examples of how using U..S cotton in their spinning operations can increase their overall profitability despite the higher cost of raw material inputs. After attending, 90 percent of participants believe that U.S. cotton quality is better than cotton from other regions.
One participating mill from Bangladesh was so impressed that during the course, they instructed one of their factories to run 100 percent U.S. cotton from existing stock. When it was shown that wastage was only 9 percent after the switch – compared to 12-13 percent with other cotton – they instructed three of their factories to exclusively buy U.S. cotton for the first quarter of 2023.
During the course, participants attended 12 educational modules that covered all aspects of handling U.S. cotton, from purchasing to final textile production.