Established for over 160 years, The International Cotton Association Ltd (ICA) is world’s leading international cotton trade association and arbitral authority. It provides worldwide service for the international sale, purchase and movement of raw cotton between producers, traders and consumers. With global recognition and accreditation, ICA aims to protect the interests of producers, consumers, and traders, reduce the risks inherent in the buying and selling of cotton and uphold equitable trading practices and the sanctity of contracts worldwide by providing, updating and supporting globally accepted impartial cotton trading rules and arbitration facilities and by means of education, training, promotion, standardisation and cooperation with other arbitral bodies. The majority of contracts for international trade are agreed subject to ICA Rules, and in the event of a dispute concerning quality or performance, are subject to ICA dispute resolution procedures. Mr Wally Darneille, President, ICA Ltd, a graduate from Dartmouth College, started his career in 1974 with Weil Brothers-Cotton, Inc., in Montgomery, Alabama, as an employee in the cotton sample room and rose to the position of Senior Vice-President in 2004. During his years at Weil, he earned his MBA magna cum laude from Auburn University. He managed cotton merchandising operations throughout Mexico and Central America, and created new operations in South America, Australia, and Central Asia. In 2003, he was named the Outstanding Alumnus of Auburn University of Montgomery. He took over as President and CEO of Plains Cotton Cooperative Association in Lubbock in July of 2004. Mr Darnielle had also been the first-ever American President at Texas Cotton Association and has also served on the Board of Directors of the American Cotton Shippers’ Association. He is currently on the Board of the National Cotton Council, AMCOT, Telmark, and The Seam. He is also Vice-Chairman of the National Council of Textile Organisations and a frequent speaker at cotton meetings around the world. In Face2Face, Mr Wally Darneille gives valuable comments on global cotton market.
As an arbitration authority what role does ICA play in worldwide cotton markets?
Approximately two-thirds of the world’s cotton exports are sold under ICA Rules, as ICA is clearly the premier arbitral authority in cotton trade, dedicated to creating and preserving orderly trade wherein both buyer and seller receive equal treatment.
Global cotton market scenario presents a very complex picture today and even more confusing for tomorrow. How does ICA perceive it from its position of dominance?
As an arbitral authority, ICA does not comment on market scenarios. In fact, one of the guiding principles of ICA Rules and Arbitration is that they are completely independent of market movements.
With land shrinking for agriculture purposes and global markets turning to manmade fibres much in terms of consumption. How will ICA factor in such a situation to stem the rot and ensure cotton reclaims its 'white gold' status?
All of us in cotton industry are fortunate to have enjoyed the support of the US cotton farmer via Cotton Incorporated, where tens of millions of dollars have been invested over the years in communicating the advantages of cotton to consumers in many markets. There is an incentive through other organizations called “The International Forum for Cotton Promotion”, but to date no country has been willing to pledge operating funds for this effort. Thus, CI remains the main voice promoting cotton on a global basis.
What is the future of generic cotton in face of Bt cotton varieties that seems to come cropper in terms of quality and value?
It is evident that cotton producers around the world have had to plant better-yielding varieties in order to survive. We expect this trend towards producing higher yields of better quality cotton to continue.
Which geographical sectors and market segments do you expect rise in the consumption of cotton?
China and India have seen tremendous growth in recent years. Bangladesh and Vietnam are also poised for significant expansion, while Indonesia and Thailand should experience slower, but steady growth.
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 Fibre2Fashion.com.