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Enrollment opens for cotton sustainability programs

Cotton producers can now begin the application process for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and Climate Smart Cotton Program. Learn more about enrollment and upcoming deadlines.

Farm Press Staff

January 11, 2024

2 Min Read
Erollment opens for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and the Climate Smart Cotton Program. Shelley E. Huguley

Growers can now enroll in the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol initiative and apply for the U.S. Climate Smart Cotton Program.

The January opening enrollment date provides growers an application window before planting begins and better aligns with peak cotton marketing dates. Growers who completed enrollment in 2023 will need to enroll again. Applications close April 30.

“The Trust Protocol is the sustainability initiative for the U.S. cotton industry that provides growers field-level insights to help save money and improve efficiencies but is also an established platform to connect sustainably grown cotton with the supply chain,” said Daren Abney, U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol executive director.

The Trust Protocol is free for growers and is a voluntary, science-based sustainability program that sets a new standard for delivering value from fiber to finished products.

“Growers who complete their enrollment in the Trust Protocol can also apply for the Climate Smart Cotton Program, providing technical and financial support to help de-risk the implementation and adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture practices.”

Key dates to remember include:

  • January 4: Trust Protocol enrollment and Climate Smart Cotton Program applications open

  • March 1: Deadline to enter data and upload bales from the 2023 crop

  • April 30: Trust Protocol Enrollment and Climate Smart Cotton Program applications close

Participation critical

U.S. cotton producer participation in the Trust Protocol is critical as brand and retailer demand for more sustainably grown cotton intensifies, Trust Protocol representatives said in a recent release.

Improving carbon footprint is also a key focus area. U.S. cotton farmers can help achieve this through the U.S. Climate Smart Cotton Program. The shared program goal is to support farmers in adopting and implementing sustainable practices that benefit both their operations and the environment.

Applications for the Climate Smart Cotton Program will be reviewed on a first-come-first-serve basis until 1,650 farmers are approved, including 330 farmers from historically underserved communities.  

Since the Trust Protocol’s launch in 2020, the program has already welcomed more than 2,000 supply chain members and over 40 companies and their brands including Ralph Lauren, Gap, Levi Strauss & Co. and J.Crew.

To begin enrollment in the Trust Protocol and apply for the Climate Smart Cotton Program, visit TrustUSCotton.org.

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