TRUTERRA, GREENPOINT AG, U.S. COTTON TRUST PROTOCOL AND COTTON INCORPORATED TEAM UP WITH AN AG TECH FOCUS TO FUEL CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT IN THE MID-SOUTH COTTON SOURCING REGION
Pilot program to work with growers across an initial 50,000 acres of U.S. cotton to measure, track and verify sustainability, meet growing demand for more sustainable cotton by consumer brands
Arden Hills, Minn. and Cary, North Carolina, [12.17.2020] – Truterra, LLC, the sustainability business at Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives, has announced a new collaboration with Cotton Incorporated, a not-for-profit research and marketing company representing Upland cotton, to advance the adoption of sustainable farming practices across 50,000 acres of cotton in the Mid-South sourcing region. The new initiative will tap the Truterra™ Stewardship platform and Truterra™ retailer member GreenPoint Ag to help connect consumer brands to verified sources of more sustainable cotton in their supply chains.
Truterra and GreenPoint Ag will work with participating cotton growers to establish an environmental sustainability baseline for each field, identify year-over-year improvement opportunities and model the impact of various conservation practices on sustainability and profitability. These efforts will help participating growers measure and improve water quality, land use, soil conservation, soil carbon, irrigation water use efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity and energy use on their cotton fields.
As part of this drive to deepen sustainability practices among U.S. growers, Truterra and GreenPoint Ag will also help participating growers enroll in the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. The Trust Protocol is a system which will set a new standard in more sustainably grown cotton giving brands and retailers the critical assurances they need to source U.S. cotton.
“There is a growing number of consumer brands who are demanding more transparency about the practices used to grow products,” said Jason Weller, Vice President, Truterra, LLC. “At Truterra, we are committed to working with growers across the country to unlock the enormous untapped value and potential in the market for sustainability. This new collaboration expands our footprint into a new crop – cotton – and offers cotton growers a comprehensive view of all of the factors impacting the profitability, performance and sustainability of their farm business to enable them to not only meet consumer demand, but to make even smarter business decisions.”
“We have set ambitious, science-based sustainability targets for U.S. cotton production over the next decade, and our collaboration with Truterra and GreenPoint Ag will help us engage more growers in this important effort,” said Jesse Daystar, Chief Sustainability Officer, Cotton Incorporated. “New enrollment in the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol also will help meet the growing demand from consumer brands to source sustainably grown cotton for their products.”
“Through our long-standing partnership with Truterra, GreenPoint Ag works with farmers to safeguard natural resources for generations to come and to help them build resilient farm businesses,” said Jeff Blair, CEO, GreenPoint Ag. “It is exciting to be able to offer the precision data and analysis provided by Truterra to our cotton growers for the first time and to position them as a dependable supply source for some of the country's largest buyers of cotton.”
Initially, the program will work with growers to analyze the 2020 agronomic data and generate sustainability insights that can be incorporated into the growers’ production decisions throughout the early spring months in advance of the 2021 harvest season. Truterra and Cotton Incorporated will look to expand the project to include additional acres in 2021.
Contact: Stacey Gorman, Director of Communications, 901-233-9356, sgorman [at] cottonboard [dot] org
About the Cotton Board
The Cotton Research & Promotion Act established the Cotton Board as a quasi-governmental, non-profit entity to serve as the administrator of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. Funded by America’s cotton producers and importers through the cotton check-off, the Program’s research and promotion activities are conducted worldwide by Cotton Incorporated, the Cotton Board’s sole-source contracting organization, to increase the demand for and improve the market position of cotton. The Cotton Research & Promotion Program continues to work in all areas of cotton’s pipeline – from the field to the consumer – to keep cotton the number one fiber choice in the U.S. For more information about the Cotton Board and the innovative activities stemming from the Program, visit www.cottonboard.org.
About Truterra, LLC
Truterra (formerly Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN) is a leading stewardship solutions provider, advancing and connecting sustainability efforts throughout the food system with scale – from farmers to ag retailers to partners such as food companies. Truterra positions farmers for success by providing them tools and resources to establish a stewardship baseline and track progress on every field they farm. The Truterra™ network brings together the best in agricultural technology and on-farm business management to drive sustainability across the food system, feeding people, safeguarding the planet and supporting farmer livelihoods. Truterra was launched in 2016 by Land O'Lakes, Inc., a member-owned cooperative that spans the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. To learn more, visit www.truterraag.com.
About the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol
In a period of ever greater supply chain scrutiny and a growing demand for transparency, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will set a standard for more sustainably grown cotton. It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to the issue of responsibly-grown cotton production and drives continuous improvement in key sustainability metrics.
The Trust Protocol underpins and verifies U.S. cotton’s progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. Choosing Trust Protocol cotton will give 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. Brands and retailers will gain access to U.S. cotton with sustainability credentials proven via Field to Market, measured via the Fieldprint Calculator and verified with Control Union Certifications.
The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is overseen by a multi-stakeholder Board of Directors comprised of representatives from brands and retailers, civil society and independent sustainability experts as well as the cotton-growing industry, including growers, ginners, merchants, wholesalers and cooperatives, mills and cottonseed handlers.
The Trust Protocol is also on the Textile Exchange’s list of 36 preferred fibers and materials from which more than 170 participating brands and retailers can select from as part of Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index program.
About Cotton Incorporated
Cotton Incorporated is the research and promotion company for Upland cotton. Funded by U.S. cotton growers and importers of Upland cotton-containing products, the not-for-profit organization’s mission is to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton. As a resource for the cotton industry, Cotton Incorporated conducts or oversees 500 research and educational projects in an average year. Research areas range from the development of agricultural and textile innovations to analyses of commodity and market data. To learn more, visit www.cottoninc.com
About GreenPoint Ag
Headquartered in Decatur, AL, GreenPoint Ag in an American-owned, agricultural input supplier servicing 28 million acres in 99 communities across Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas. GreenPoint Ag combined operations with Agri-AFC and Tennessee Farmers Cooperative’s Wholesale Agronomy in early September making it a top 7 wholesale and retail agronomy company with over $1 billion in sales.