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Field to Market, US Cotton Trust Protocol Team Up to Spur Sector Sustainability

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture announced a new agreement that formalizes a partnership between the two organizations to document and accelerate sustainable outcomes for U.S. cotton production.

The new partnership is meant to strengthen the ability of cotton growers and the value chain to drive continuous improvement by combining two of the industry’s key sustainability assessment frameworks.

“Field to Market is pleased to join forces with the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol to enable the industry to meet its sustainability goals and credibly communicate results,” Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market, said. “Through this collaboration, Field to Market is committed to scaling access to our sustainability tools and analytics, and enabling growers and the broader cotton value chain to measure environmental outcomes, while identifying opportunities for improvement.”

In a memorandum of understanding signed this week, Field to Market and the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol have committed to scaling grower access to sustainability measurement by enabling farmers enrolled in the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol to utilize metrics from Field to Market’s Fieldprint Platform, tracking U.S. cotton’s sustainability journey through continued publication of Field to Market’s National Indicators Report that will communicate progress against the industry’s established environmental targets, and fostering an increased level of collaboration by participating in each other’s meetings and work sessions.

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Together, Field to Market and the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will assess progress against the U.S. cotton industry’s established environmental targets. By 2025, the industry aims to achieve targeted reductions in soil loss, water use, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, as well as increased land use efficiency and soil carbon. The Trust Protocol completed a successful project pilot in 2019 and has begun fully implementing its programs this year, with a goal to enroll at least 500 producers by December.

“Sustainability is a growing priority for the U.S. cotton value chain, from consumers, brands and retailers to textile manufacturers,” Ken Burton, executive director of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, said. “The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol looks forward to collaborating with Field to Market to scale our collective sustainability impact, meet our industry targets and strengthen the sustainability of U.S. cotton.”

Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture brings together a diverse group of grower organizations; agribusinesses; food, beverage, restaurant and retail companies; conservation groups; universities and public sector partners to focus on defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production. Field to Market is comprised of nearly 140 members representing all facets of the U.S. agricultural supply chain, with members employing more than 5 million people and representing combined revenues totaling over $1.5 trillion.

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is a cotton production assessment system established by U.S. cotton producers and industry organizations to provide a mechanism for U.S. cotton producers to assess and verify their current production practices and measure their progress toward long-term sustainability goals. The Trust Protocol’s IT development and support is provided by The Seam, a Memphis-based technology company that is also a qualified data management partner with Field to Market.