Interview with Adam Kay

Adam Kay
Adam Kay
Cotton Australia
Cotton Australia

What is the consumption of cotton in Australia, and how are the prices behaving in Australia as compared to other parts of the world?

More than 99 per cent of Australia's cotton crop is exported to spinners and manufacturers overseas. Australian growers, via their merchants, participate in the global cotton market. So, growers here are directly impacted by world pricing mechanisms for cotton.

What are the biggest challenges for the cotton industry in Australia?

Cotton Australia works hard, on behalf of Australian cotton growers, to anticipate and overcome the big challenges facing the industry. Over the next year, the biggest challenges will include: 1. Water availability in cotton-producing regions; 2. Guiding research and development in order to increase efficiency and profitability of cotton production; 3. Maintaining and protecting grower access to key land and water resources; 4. Reducing the cost of key inputs such as electricity, which has been rising astronomically in recent years; 5. Building demand for our excellent fibre, both in Australia and around the world; 6. Advocating for favourable trade terms as the Australian government negotiates with trade partners.

What can be done to limit the impact of climate change on cotton yield?

Cotton Australia has an important role in guiding the cotton industry research and development, and we have helped the industry pursue scientific research into improving yields in order to make Australian cotton growers even more water-efficient. We are confident that these developments will continue to improve our growers' ability to make yield improvements, even as our climate evolves and access to water may become less certain. Last season, irrigated cotton in Australia averaged more than 11 bales per hectare.

What steps does Cotton Australia take to ensure greener footprint?

Since 1991, Australia’s cotton industry has been conducting independent audits and assessments of its environmental performance. Cotton Australia, in partnership with the Cotton Research & Development Corporation, late last year launched the Australian Grown Cotton Sustainability Report, the first report to be prepared according to Global Reporting Initiative guidelines. This report assesses the Australian cotton industry’s advancements in sustainable, water-efficient cotton production, and demonstrates the commitment to continuous environmental improvement by our growers.

How has the growth of e-commerce impacted marketing and communication?

Electronic marketing and communication have greatly increased our ability to tell the Australian cotton story to a global audience. While our electronic communication platforms can't replace valuable face-to-face contact, Cotton Australia has been able to use them to reach and communicate with completely new audiences. This has been particularly valuable for our Cotton to Market programme (which includes Cotton Leads and BCI), as this has enabled us to promote our responsibly produced fibre to the world via key retailers and brand owners.

What are the new trends expected to shape up marketing and communication in the next one year or so?

Cotton Australia remains committed to its Cotton to Market programme. Over the coming year, we will be attending numerous fibre and textile conferences and trade shows in order to share our story with people from around the world about Australian cotton's excellent qualities and the advantages of specifying it in their manufacturing and retailing processes. We'll also be expanding our electronic reach through websites, social media and active communications to reach an even wider audience.
Published on: 15/07/2015

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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