cotton field

U.S. Cotton Exports Expect Boost in Latin America Thanks to Sourcing Fair

Cotton Fairs and Orientation Tours Develop Business for U.S. Cotton 1

For the first time since 2019, Cotton Council International (CCI) hosted the Sourcing Fair, paid for in part by Foreign Market Development funds, in Cancun, Mexico, in 2022. The event convened representatives from the Western Hemisphere apparel supply chain to meet in person, learn more about the advantages of U.S. cotton, and participate in pre-arranged meetings to develop business connections. More than 100 executives attended the Sourcing Fair, with future sales estimated at $18 million worth of cotton-rich products.

Latin America has a strong tradition of loyalty to U.S. cotton and is important not only for its consumption of U.S. cotton raw fiber, but also U.S. cotton-manufactured yarns and fabrics. In 2020-21, almost 80% of U.S. cotton yarn, thread, and fabric exports went to the Latin American region, making it an extremely important market for U.S. manufacturers. The region has also seen an uptick in interest from U.S. brands and retailers who now recognize the advantages of proximity and are exploring more nearshoring opportunities, given global shipment disruptions over the past few years.

Fast Facts

Participants in the fair met privately with new and existing customers during more than 600 pre-scheduled individual meetings to discuss business opportunities. As a result of these meetings, 94% of the Latin American textile/garment manufacturers expect to purchase additional U.S. cotton-rich products in the next year, and all of them anticipate doing business with the brands and retailers in the next year.

Sustainability Spotlight

To maintain U.S. market share, CCI activities in Latin America seek to differentiate U.S. cotton, and one area where U.S. cotton outperforms its competitors is sustainability. During the Sourcing Fair, participants had an opportunity to learn more about how the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol® is setting a new standard in sustainable cotton production during the seminar portion of the event. Four brand/retailer companies and 15 Latin American textile/garment manufacturing companies indicated they were interested in becoming U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol® members.

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