Peter Tuohey, Cotton Australia Director & Australian cotton grower
I recently had the privilege of participating in ACSA’s export market development visit to Turkey and Bangladesh. I represented Cotton Australia as a Director but also represented Australian cotton growers in telling my story about growing Australian cotton.
The visit to these markets provided me with an opportunity to learn about the cotton supply chain from gin to spinning mill.
ACSA’s seminars were especially insightful with the stunning film that opened each seminar (and if you haven’t seen the film, it can be found at their website www.austcottonshippers.com.au). I presented to the audiences at these seminars, telling them what it is to own and run a cotton farm in Australia, how the attributes of Australian cotton make it a stand-out fibre and how Cotton Australia supports growers and the Australian industry.
In return I was afforded the opportunity for an up-close view of the relationships and interactions between cotton merchants, agents and spinners and how this results in sales of Australian cotton.
Amongst all of this was the opportunity to speak one-on-one with agents and spinners in both Turkey and Bangladesh. I had the good fortune to meet Leon Picon who is on the board of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).
It was great to view the contrasts between Turkey – as a small and evolving market and Bangladesh – a firmly established large importer of Australian cotton.
The success of the EMD visits to both countries was heightened by the well organised seminars and engagement with Austrade to handle local logistics and ensure the group was across local conditions and customs.
The underlying messages I took away from this export market development visit were that those that already use Australian cotton would continue to use it in increasing quantities due to its great spinning qualities and low contamination; and there are plenty of spinners looking to give Australian cotton a go – subject to price!
I have a new appreciation for the cotton supply chain and would like to thank ACSA and Cotton Australia for the opportunity to participate in this EMD visit.