"From Land to Brand: Strengthening the Cotton Value Chain

Saturday, November 1, 2014 

17:00   Orientation Meeting: ICAC Secretariat and Organizing Committee from Greece

Sunday, November 2, 2014
Order of the Day

7:30     Breakfast Meeting of the CSITC Steering Committee - (SYMPOSIUM - Makedonia Hotel)
9:15     Meeting of the Private Sector Advisory Panel (PSAP) - (CERTH)
10:00     Registration (Makedonia Hotel)
11:00     Meeting of the Task Force on CSITC - (CERTH)
13:30     Meeting of the Task Force on Cotton Identity Programs (TFCIP) - (CERTH)
15:30     Meeting of the Expert Panel on Social, Environmental & Economic Performance of Cotton (SEEP) - (CERTH)
19:00     Reception (Ballroom - Makedonia Palace Hotel)

Monday, November 3, 2014
Order of the Day

 8:00   Registration
 9:00   Summary of the Inaugural Session
  • Welcome to Greece by the Chair of the Organizing Committee, Ms. Ioulia Drossinou, Ministry of Rural Development & Food (Greece)
  • Inaugural Remarks by Mr. Giorgos Karasmanis, Minister of Rural Development and Food, Greece
  • Welcoming Remarks on behalf of all delegates by Colombia, host of the 72nd Plenary Meeting
  • Invitation to the 74th Plenary Meeting: India
  • Report of the Chair of the Standing Committee, Dr. Chris Parker, Embassy of Australia, Washington, DC
  • Recognition of the ICAC Researcher of the Year, Dr. Mehboob-ur-Rahman
  • Report of the Executive Director, Mr. José Sette
  • Approval of the Agenda of the 73rd Plenary Meeting
10:30   Coffee/Tea Break
11:00   Summary of the First Open Session: National Programs of Responsible Cotton Production: Strengthening Responsible Production Practices
Chair: Dr. Eleni Maloupa, Hellenic Agricultural Organization-Demeter (Greece)
As noted in the Statement of the 71st Plenary Meeting in Switzerland, the environmental and social performance of the world cotton industry is good and getting better. One of the reasons for improvement is that many countries have initiated national programs to reduce input use, raise yields, enhance quality and produce cotton in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Examples of such programs include Procalgodón in Argentina, MyBMP in Australia, Programa Algodão Brasileiro Responsável in Brazil, and the Integrated Cotton Production System in Greece. This open session will provide an opportunity for representatives from producing countries to discuss their experiences with such programs, including levels of farmer participation, challenges faced in establishing benchmarks of best practices, techniques of national-level data collection, use of sub-products and impacts on farm income. The Task Force on Cotton Identity Programs will issue its report during this session, including a list of national and international programs of responsible cotton production. The desired outcome of the session is an understanding by government officials and the private sector of characteristics of responsible cotton production programs that are common to success. It is hoped that all countries will resolve to either initiate or expand such programs.
12:30   Lunch


Summary of the First Plenary Session: Statements
Chair: Prof. A. Tsaftaris, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

  • Statements by Member Countries
  • Statements by International Organizations
  Coffee/Tea Break
16:15   Summary of the First Plenary Session (PSAP): Statements (Continued)
  • Report of the PSAP, Mr. Jorge Vartparonián, Chair (Argentina)
  • Statements from Non-member Countries

Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Order of the Day

 9:00 Summary of the Second Open Session: Promotion of Cotton Use in Product Markets
Chair: Mr. Jeff Silberman, IFCP (USA)
Cotton’s share of world demand for fibers has been falling steadily over recent decades, as man-made fibers have become increasingly popular. This decline has been greater in some specific market segments, such as so-called “fast fashion” and performance textiles, than others. Many examples exist, both within cotton and in other agricultural commodities, of generic promotion campaigns that have boosted market growth. This session will examine ways in which the use of cotton can be promoted, both at industry and consumer levels, in key countries and market segments, as well as the role governments can play in assisting promotion.
 9:15 Summary of the First Breakout Session: Production Practices for the Improvement of Cotton Productivity
Chair: Prof. Ephemia Papadopoulou-Mourkidou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)
This breakout session will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss the application of programs that can reduce production costs, improve control of most common pests (bollworm, aphid, white fly) and also reduce the environmental impact of cotton cultivation (e.g. exchange of experiences from application of conservation tillage and row spacing systems in different countries).
Coffee/Tea Break
11:00 Second Breakout Session: International Exchange of Cotton Germplasm
Chair: Prof. Georgios Skaracis, Agricultural University of Athens (Greece)
Intensive breeding limited to the existing germplasm within a country has led to a narrow genetic base that restricts the variation within a segregated population. A wide genetic variation always provides opportunities for transgressive features. As a result of the narrow genetic base now available around the world, the process of development of new varieties has slowed. There is currently only minimal international exchange of germplasm among countries, and issues involving intellectual property rights covering genes have further limited the exchange of elite germplasm among countries. Conventional breeding will always be at the forefront of developing improved varieties, while biotech genes will only contribute specific features. The session will seek proposals to enhance the international exchange of cotton germplasm.
13:45 Summary of the Third Open Session: Contract Sanctity
Chair: Mr. Antonios Siarkos, Hellenic Cotton Association of Ginners and Exporters (Greece)
Contract defaults, resulting principally from price volatility, have plagued the cotton business in recent years and opened the door even wider for manmade fibers to increase their share of the market. The response from the cotton trade has been to tighten further the restrictions on defaulters, which in turn creates even greater barriers to normal cotton trading, thereby allowing competing fibers to gain more ground. The lack of contract sanctity extends further up the value chain, as weavers, garment manufactures and retailers also feel free to renege on their commitments. In turn, this forces non-compliance down the chain to spinners and cotton traders, who are bound by international trading rules that do not allow defaults to be passed onwards. This threat to the future of cotton will be addressed in a panel discussion that seeks to understand the difficulties and threats faced by cotton trading today, and how these might be addressed with the support of member countries. The panel will be composed of experts from different segments of the cotton trade, such as producers, traders, representatives of international trade associations, spinners and retailers.
14:00 Third Breakout Session: Climate Change and Cotton
Chair: Prof. Ilias Eleftherohorinos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)
This topic has already been the subject of breakout sessions in 2007 (Izmir) and 2013 (Cartagena), but interest remains very high. The breakout session in 2014 will include the presentation of an ICAC review article on “Climate Change and Cotton Production” and build on information presented in earlier by providing more specific metrics for use in defining “extreme” weather, in order to provide more detailed forecasts of impacts on cotton. Water use in cotton and efforts to improve its efficiency will be discussed. Updates will be presented on new developments in the field of improvement of cotton varieties for resistance/tolerance to abiotic stress (e.g. drought tolerance, salinity tolerance, cold tolerance, heat tolerance). The use of molecular tools to evaluate cotton genotypes for resistance/tolerance to abiotic stress will be discussed.
Coffee/Tea Break
15:45 Summary of the Fourth Open Session: The Outlook for Cotton Supply and Use
Chair: H.E. Mr. Prosper Vokouma, Ambassador Permanent Representative of Burkina Faso to the United Nations Office
This Open Session will feature two presentations by the Secretariat. The first will be on the outlook for world cotton supply, mill use, trade, stocks and prices in 2014/15 and expectations for trends through 2024/25. The second will be the annual report on Production and Trade Policies Affecting the Cotton Industry. In addition, a representative of the WTO will be invited to report on developments in the Doha Round of relevance to the cotton sector, including agreements on trade facilitation and transparence achieved during the 9th Ministerial Conference, held in Bali.
16:00 Fourth Breakout Session: National Cotton Brands: Strengthening Awareness of the Attributes of Cotton
Chair: Mr. Vassilis Markou, Hellenic Cotton Association of Ginners and Exporters (Greece) 
Several countries have programs to enhance export sales of cotton, in the expectation of gaining price premiums through the establishment of a brand or identity for the cotton they produce or expanding sales volumes through promotion to spinners. Greece desires to establish a brand identity for Greek cotton, and numerous other countries wish to follow suit. This open session will provide an opportunity to explore techniques of brand establishment and to hear from countries on their experiences with national demand enhancement programs. A desired outcome of the session is increased understanding among producing countries of the costs involved and likely outcomes of branding strategies, combined with an understanding of which strategies boost sales of cotton as a whole and which strategies are more likely to undermine the cotton sector as a whole. It is hoped that the session will result in more countries engaging in demand enhancement activities and doing so in ways that strengthen consumer preferences for cotton while also building brand identities for cotton of specific origins.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Order of the Day

9:00 Summary of the Fifth Open Session: Prerequisites for Textile Industry Growth: Improving Efficiency
Chair: Mr. Vassilis Masselos, Hellenic Fashion Industry Association (Greece)
A worldwide interest exists in the capability to generate income and employment of the textile industry, especially in cotton-producing countries. This open session will feature experts providing information on the elements needed for textile industry growth, including communications and transportation infrastructure, the availability of electrical power, labor requirements, the importance of raw material quality and availability, the impacts of environmental and labor regulations, access to finance, proximity to markets, trade preferences and other factors. Special attention should be dedicated to the identification of fiber and yarn quality properties for specified end uses and optimum fiber blends for increasing textile quality and reducing overall cost. The desired outcome of the session is an understanding of the prerequisites for textile industry growth that will allow government officials to determine whether increased mill use of cotton is feasible in their countries and what steps would be required if a decision is made to support increased mill use of cotton.
9:00 World Café: Promoting Cotton/Establishing Brands
Facilitator: Ms. Effie Voudouris, Vamvaki Ltd. (Greece) 
World Café Results
Plenary Meeting participants will develop strategies of establishing national cotton brand identities within an overall framework that builds demand for cotton as a whole.
10:30 Coffee/Tea Break
11:00 Summuary of  the Fifth Breakout Session: Cotton Classification: A Vehicle for Standardization of Trading Practices
Chair: Dr. Urania Kechagia (Greece)
This breakout session will provide an opportunity for scientists, traders and farmers to discuss classification of cotton around the world, which is a subject of great interest to Greece. It could include an exchange of views on the sectors (private or public) that are involved in classification-standardization and on the operating practices, instruments, problems and common acceptable methodology. The Task Force on CSITC will issue its report during this session.
12:30 Business Meeting of the International Forum for Cotton Promotion (IFCP)
14:00 City Tour

Thursday, November 6, 2014
Order of the Day

7:30     Breakfast Meeting of Plenary Meeting Host Committees (by invitation only)
9:00     Summary of the Sixth Open Session (Technical Seminar): Enhancing the Mechanism of Input Interaction in Cotton Production
Chair: Prof. Andreas Karamanos, Agricultural University of Athens (Greece)
The role of various inputs in the production of cotton has changed during the last decade. The heavy reliance on input applications, especially fertilizer and pesticides, has been reduced in favor of an emphasis on optimization of input use and understanding interactions among inputs. The high use of water, insecticides and fertilizer rendered cotton vulnerable to allegations of environmental harm and invited unrealistic yield claims from many quarters. Awareness of optimization of inputs is important for maintaining the long-term viability of cotton production as an attractive option for producers. The process of improvement in production practices is continuous, and many opportunities and options exist to improve the viability of cotton production without recourse to additional inputs. Economical production that is sustainable can be more than a catchword; sustainable production systems can improve the image and profitability of cotton production. This technical seminar will address how best to meet plant needs, thereby reducing yield losses due to over- and under-use of inputs, and will discuss ways in which farmers can be encouraged to adopt sustainable production practices.
9:00     World Café: Results and Discussion
Facilitator: Ms. Effie Voudouris, Vamvaki Ltd. (Greece)
10:30     Coffee/Tea Break
11:00     Sixth Open Session (Technical Seminar – Continued)
Lunch Meeting of Cotton Analysts/Statisticians (conducted by the Secretariat)
13:45     Meeting of the Drafting Group (Official Delegates only)
14:00     Summary of the Sixth Breakout Session: The Importance of Logistics: Enhancing Efficiency
Chair: Mr. Kostas Davelopoulos, Romilos J. Davelopoulos Maritime and Comm. Co. (Greece)
An ability to deliver cotton of a specified quality to textile mills quickly, within a tight delivery window, with all documentation completed accurately, and at low cost, is critical to competitive success. This open session will feature speakers from countries with excellent logistics describing the characteristics of their land transportation, banking, insurance, port facilities and marketing systems that result in outstanding performance. The Private Sector Advisory Panel will report during this session on its initiatives to improve logistics in cotton trading. A desired outcome is that delegates from countries whose logistics are less than fully competitive can return home with information that will assist with improvement.
19:00     Gala Dinner

Friday, November 7, 2014
Order of the Day

9:00     Summary of the Steering Committee
9:00     Regional Caucus Meetings
Participants from Latin America, Asia and Africa will discuss who in each country/region will follow up on recommendations from the plenary meeting regarding national programs of production improvement, national brand enhancement, and improvements in logistics.
10:30     Coffee/Tea Break


Summary of the Closing Session
Chair by: Prof. Georgios Skaracis, Agricultural University of Athens (Greece)

  • Reading of the Final Statement of the 73rd Plenary Meeting
  • Closing Comments by Greece, host of the 73rd Plenary Meeting
  • Closing Comments by other countries
  • Adjourn
14:00     Travel and Technical Tour 

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Sunday, November 9, 2014


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