The outgoing executive director endorsed the selection of Mr. Sette by member governments as the next executive director. Townsend noted that Mr. Sette has extensive experience in commodities and with government organizations and the private sector, he is highly capable, and he possess the combination of skill, knowledge and temperament to serve effectively as the next executive director.
In his final remarks as executive director, Townsend said that cotton is one of the few industries in the world that can be truly said to “touch" the lives of nearly every person on the planet almost every day. He said that ICAC provides public infrastructure that enables industry improvement through industry action.
Townsend observed that ICAC brings together governments and the private sector from producing, consuming and trading countries representing all stages of the value chain.
Over its 7 decades of existence, the ICAC has contributed concretely to the lives of people in the cotton industry by improving government policies, providing information for decision-making and by disseminating technology. Townsend observed that world cotton yields are higher, earnings are greater and demand is stronger because of the work of the ICAC since 1939.
The outgoing executive director said he had visited almost every ICAC member country in his 25 years with the ICAC. He had seen regions as diverse as Victoria Falls and Lubbock, that he had visited national capitals such as Paris, cotton centers such as Moundou, and even population centers such as Wee Waa.
He remembered that he had been privileged to experience cultures as diverse as Hindu shrines, Andean music and Liverpool football. He thanked member governments, individual delegates to plenary meetings and meetings of the Standing Committee, all members of the Secretariat and many, many friends in the cotton industry for their support and involvement. He said that it had been a great, great honor to work for ICAC.
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