The Value Chain Grows Ever Tighter
If you let your business partners down, you might literally bankrupt them.
April 12, 2012
Ever since I was old enough to learn the alphabet, I’ve been a voracious reader. As a boy, I spent most of my free time at the neighborhood library, absorbing as much information as possible from any book I could get my hands on.
I remember reading one that said spider’s silk is so strong that if you wove the strands together, the resulting rope would be five times stronger than one of the same diameter made from steel. I found that very difficult to believe, even though the book had a picture showing a “chain” made from spider’s silk lifting an incredible amount of weight.
If spider silk can be woven into such a tough and durable chain, why can’t cotton?
Figuratively, at least, it can – and we all need to start weaving the links to that chain immediately. Industry experts and thought leaders across the globe agree that a tighter, stronger supply chain is the best defense cotton has against market volatility, concerns about the environment and competition from synthetic fibers.
From the cotton seed all the way through to the pair of jeans on the retailer’s shelf, each and every link in the chain is fully dependent on the others. Ignoring the needs and challenges of your upstream suppliers and downstream customers is not only bad business for your own organization, it puts everyone else in the entire supply chain at risk.
As Bashir Ali Mohammad, president of the International Textile Manufacturers Federation, says in this issue’s Global Summit Preview (see page 12), “Find partners you can trust, be transparent in your operations, and above all, don’t be greedy. In today’s circumstances, if you let your business partners down, you might literally bankrupt them.”
It’s true that challenging times usually bring about opportunities to make lasting changes for the good. When the global leaders of the cotton and textile industries meet April 25-27 at the Global Summit in Bangkok, at the Bremen Cotton Conference in March, and at other events around the world, I encourage you to work with them to find solutions that will strengthen the cotton supply chain for generations to come.