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Web Exclusive | October 2016

If coffee can do it, cotton can too!

Declining cotton consumption needs a big boost, and innovation only holds the key, opine industry experts.

It was a session of introspection for the cotton community! At the USA Cotton meet at the Trident Hotel in Mumbai recently, an august gathering of cotton industry experts watched with awe and avid interest at the Executive Director of Cotton Council International, Bruce A Atherley’s concerns over declining cotton consumption and call for attempts to give a boost to this natural fibre’s fortunes globally. “From 1945 to 1975, U.S. per capita consumption of coffee fell from 46 gallons to 17 gallons– a decline of 60 per cent, because soft drinks exploded in popularity as baby boomers grew into adulthood; All coffees were the same; Women were increasingly out of the home working; Coffee producers were reducing capital investment and marketing support.”

Explaining how this long-term decline in coffee was arrested and revived, he asked, “How did the change occur?” “It’s all about INNOVATION,” he said. Lamenting that cotton’s global share of end-use consumption has declined to below 30 per cent, Atherley said:“For over 50 years, man-made fibres (MMF) have grown at a compound rate 3 times that of cotton. From 2005 to 2015, cotton was nearly flat while MMF grew at 6 per cent per year.Textile fibre is a global growth category. End-use consumption grew at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 2.9 per cent from 1964 to 1994; over the last 20 years that has increased to 3.9 per cent. Over half of end-use fibre consumption is now in Asian developing countries. Developing Asia’s growth is coming both from population growth and per capita consumption. Over the last 20 years per capita consumption has tripled. Despite Asia’s rapid increase in per capita consumption, it still has room to grow. Its per capita consumption is less than half of that of industrial countries.”

(Read the complete story in ITJ November 2016 Issue)
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