The Cotton LEADS program has attained more than 200 partners across the global cotton textile supply chain. Launched in October 2013 by Australian and U.S. cotton industries, Cotton LEADS advocates and demonstrates responsible growing practices for the popular fabric fiber.

“The first phase of the Cotton LEADS program was aimed at raising awareness of the significant environmental gains already achieved by cotton growers in Australia and the United States and their commitment to continual improvement,” says Mark Messura, senior vice president, Global Supply Chain Marketing at Cotton Incorporated.  Messura points to the stringent national and local level regulatory environment in both countries, combined with transparency of these practices and third party verification to validate the claims.

“The robust national infrastructures of both countries have facilitated and documented these gains, but more importantly, they enable the country-wide implementation of future best practices,” adds Messura.

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On the topic of best practices, Adam Kay, CEO of Cotton Australia, says, “The self-investment by growers into research and development is a key commonality in both countries, and one that demonstrates their commitment to continual improvement.”

The Cotton LEADS program is a joint effort of the Australian cotton industry and the U.S. Cotton industry as a project of the Cotton Foundation. Its founding members are Cotton Australia, the National Cotton Council of America, Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated. The program is designed to raise awareness of the responsible growing practices and commitment to continuous improvement among cotton producers in the member countries.

More information on the Cotton LEADS program can be found at: www.cottonleads.org.