FAQs 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. To enroll as a grower, the deadline is March 31.
Aligned with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, the Trust Protocol brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurements to more 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.
Cotton farmer and Cotton Trust Protocol Grower Jim Webb said, “With the U.S Cotton Trust Protocol, U.S. growers have our own verification program. It’s grower-friendly and really easy to enroll. The U.S. cotton grower has always been sustainable and now we have a verification process that our retailers need. This will keep U.S. cotton at the forefront and be the choice of cotton for the world.”
“My family has been farming since 1976, so we've seen a lot of changes over the years,” adds Adam Hatley, Trust Protocol grower and owner of Associated Farming Company. “By keeping up with industry innovations, we've been able to make changes that have not only improved our agriculture practices and our profitability but have also reduced our greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint."
The Trust Protocol underpins and verifies U.S. cotton’s sustainability progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. Choosing the Trust Protocol cotton will provide brands and retailers the critical assurances they need that the cotton fiber element of their supply chain is more sustainably grown with lower environmental and social risk.
Launched in the summer of 2020, the Trust Protocol is voluntary for U.S. cotton producers and allows us to report on six key sustainability metrics from the farm level. This initiative works to help drive all U.S. cotton production towards their 2025 sustainability targets and beyond.
Can you tell me a little bit about the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol?
- Launched in 2020, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is a farm-level, science-based program that sets a new standard in more sustainably grown cotton.
- It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurements 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.
- The program enables U.S. cotton growers to prove their sustainable stewardship and drive their commitment to continuous improvement.
- The Trust Protocol helps U.S. cotton growers meet the changing demands from the end customer while also better documenting and verifying the sustainability practices and advances already incorporated into their farms.
- During the program’s first year, the Trust Protocol welcomed more than 560 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members including Levi Strauss & Co., PVH Corp and its brands Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, Gap Inc. and its collection of purpose-led lifestyle brands Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta, as well as global apparel manufacturer Gildan.
Why should growers join?
- Virtually all the top 100 global brands have created lists of sustainable raw materials and publicly committed that 100% of their sourcing will come from these lists over the next 5 to 10 years.
- The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is a program for the U.S. cotton industry that measures, validates and verifies our sustainability credentials and provides a framework acceptable for these preferred fiber lists.
- By joining the Trust Protocol, growers will be able to demonstrate that their cotton is grown responsibly and demonstrate that the U.S. is a leader in sustainable growing practices.
- The video tutorial below helps you with enrollment.
How can growers enroll?
- The grower enrollment deadline for the 2021/2022 crop is March 31. Cotton growers can sign up at TrustUSCotton.org.
- A new tool this year to assist with enrollment is that growers can authorize account access for their crop consultant who can then enter information on their behalf. By adding their crop consultant, they can work with growers to help ensure that all necessary enrollment information is entered and accurate.
- If growers have additional questions or would like help with enrollment, they can reach out to the Grower Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.