U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Announces 2021 Grower Enrollment Webinars

MEMPHIS, TENN (September 8, 2021) – The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will present six, live enrollment webinars focusing on how the program helps U.S. growers meet the changing demands from their end customer while also better documenting and verifying the sustainability practices and advances already incorporated into their farms.

Launched in 2020, the Trust Protocol is a farm level, science-based program that sets a new standard for more sustainably grown cotton. It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to sustainable cotton production and drives continuous improvement in six key sustainability metrics– land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency. In the first year, over 300 U.S. cotton growers enrolled in the program and secured 1.5 million bales of cotton into the system. The Trust Protocol also welcomed more than 450 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members.

“As members of the Trust Protocol we will be able to demonstrate to brands and retailers that our cotton is more responsibly grown which provides them the critical assurances needed to confidently source more U.S. cotton,” said Kellon Lee, an enrolled Trust Protocol grower. “But the Trust Protocol isn’t just designed to help brands and retailers. It also helps us document our sustainability progress and compare it anonymously as we work to improve each year.”

Enrollment for the 2021 crop is open, and for growers not yet participating, the webinars will provide an opportunity to learn about program benefits and ask questions. Speakers include Trust Protocol representatives and grower members. Growers may join any of the following webinars and can register here.

•    Tuesday, September 14, 8:00 am CST
•    Wednesday, September 29, 8:00 am CST
•    Tuesday, November 2, 8:00 am CST
•    Tuesday, November 16, 8:00 am CST
•    Thursday, December 9, 8:00 am CST
•    Tuesday, December 14, 8:00 am CST

“U.S. cotton growers have led the way in innovation, quality and the responsible stewardship of their land for decades,” said Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “The Trust Protocol builds off those efforts from the past 35 years to help constantly improve growing practices through innovation, knowledge sharing, and advancements. We invite all U.S. cotton growers to join us and learn the many benefits of membership in the program.”

Brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members include Levi Strauss & Co.Gap Inc. and its collection of purpose-led lifestyle brands Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta as well as global apparel manufacturer Gildan. The Trust Protocol has also welcomed UK retailers TescoByford and Next Plc. Other Trust Protocol member announcements include the first 10 U.S. mills to join and the first members in Latin America.

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, recognized by Textile Exchange and Forum for the Future, and part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Cotton 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, Cotton 2040, and Cotton Up initiatives.

To learn more about the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol visit TrustUSCotton.org.

About the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol

In a period of ever-greater supply chain scrutiny and growing demand for transparency, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol sets a new standard for more sustainably grown cotton. It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to responsibly-grown cotton production and drives continuous improvement in key sustainability metrics.

The Trust Protocol underpins and verifies U.S. cotton’s progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. Choosing Trust Protocol cotton will give brands and retailers the critical assurances they need that the cotton fiber element of their supply chain is more sustainably grown with lower environmental risk. Brands and retailers will gain access to U.S. cotton with sustainability credentials proven via Field to Market, measured via the Fieldprint Calculator and verified with Control Union Certifications.

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is overseen by a multi-stakeholder Board of Directors comprised of representatives from brands and retailers, civil society and independent sustainability experts as well as the cotton-growing industry, including growers, ginners, merchants, wholesalers and cooperatives, mills and cottonseed handlers.