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Cotton Australia pushes brands to use Australian cotton which is fully traceable

The Australian cotton industry which has broken national records for its production in recent years has slowed this season, however industry’s effort to market itself as a sustainable fibre option has paid off.

Cotton has become Australia’s fourth-most valued agricultural export. Cotton Australia says there has been an increase in retailers and brands applying to use its Australian cotton mark. Consequently Australian shoppers will start to see more locally grown cotton products in stores.

The success was due to a decade of efforts of industry body Cotton Australia which has been working with brands and retailers to encourage them to make their products with cotton grown in Australia. 

Cotton Australia chief executive said that Australian cotton it traceable, it’s sustainably produced and which why the brands and retailers want to be part of that.  The CE praised Australians as very patriotic; if they can’t buy Australian made, the next best thing for them is Australian grown.

Cotton grown in Australia is sent through cotton gins to be cleaned and baled before being exported to spinning mills in countries such as Vietnam where it is turned into yarn which can be made into thread or fabric.

Brands and retailers can apply to display the Australian Cotton mark on their products, from underwear to socks, towels, sheets and clothing. Mr Kay said there had been a 91 per cent increase in licensed products bearing the mark, totalling almost 29 million items. 

Cotton is Australia’s fourth-most valuable agricultural export, according to the Department of Agriculture, with last season’s export crop valued at $4.9 billion, an increase of 120 per cent on the previous year.

This year’s forecast cotton crop of 4.5 million bales is about 1 million bales fewer than last year’s crop. A US Department of Agriculture market outlook noted cotton production was down across the globe, with China, the US and Australia each estimated to experience crop declines greater than 10 percent.

Conditions were dry during the planting window in Australia, and some growers did not have access to a water allocation to irrigate their crop.With only weeks to go until harvest, growers were deciding whether or not to keep their crop in the ground longer to get a better yield. The recent rain had meant the harvest had been delayed. 

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