Cotton Board Meeting: Stability More Important than Price
Price stability and increased use of technology are two critical paths to success for cotton, according to several industry experts who addressed the The Cotton Board at its March meeting.
March 15, 2012
Price stability and increased use of technology are two critical paths to success for the cotton industry as a whole, according to several industry experts who addressed the The Cotton Board, the oversight and administrative arm of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program, at its March meeting.
“I don’t think the absolute level of prices is as important – if everyone can make some money – as stability in prices,” said Wally Darneille, president and CEO of Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, during a presentation that focused on helping both producers and importers make sense of cotton’s extensive supply chain. “Volatility has killed us over the last couple of years.”
Todd Staples, Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, pointed out that the success of the US industry was largely built on technology and the ability to devise creative solutions to challenging problems. “The key to our many successes [regarding cotton production] has been our innovation in areas such as yield increase due to new seed varieties, water and drought management techniques and the boll weevil eradication program,” Staples said.
Information about consumer attitudes and trends was presented by The Cotton Board’s new consumer advisor, Marshal Cohen. He highlighted the need for renovation, communication and invigoration, saying, “We really need to use technology to rewrite the rules in order to engage today’s consumer.” The general session ended with a presentation from Cotton Incorporated’s senior staff giving an update on the Vision 21 project, focusing on results from the recently completed life cycle analysis. All four presentations can be found on the Cotton Board Web site at www.cottonboard.org.