U.S eyes Indian market through new face of cotton

Friday, 25 October 2002, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The U.S. is looking at the robust Indian market to boost cotton sales through new alliances and a major $1.5 million marketing initiative that will present a new face of quality cotton.

Two U.S.-based non-profit organisations, the Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated, have allied with three leading Indian cotton and textile companies to bring the 'Seal of Cotton' trademark for the first time outside North America.

"The Seal of Cotton trademark identifiable through arresting and dramatic face masks will denote the highest quality of 100 percent cotton apparel and home furnishing products," said Dean B. Turner, senior vice president global product marketing of Cotton Incorporated, at a press conference here Friday.

Promotion of the cotton seal in the U.S. since 1973 has resulted in reviving the demand for the natural fabric from below 30 percent to 60 percent currently, said Richmond Handee of Cotton Incorporated.

Turner said: "We are looking at companies willing to invest in quality products and embrace and promote the concept of high quality cotton."

The U.S. groups, which have top producers and retailers as its seal alliance partners, have formed the Cotton Gold Alliance as a first step and tied up with Patspin India of GTN Group, Vardhaman Spinning and General Mills Ltd. and Ashima Group.

The new Indian alliance partners would promote the pure cotton concept and create new demand for high quality pure cotton fabrics, garments and home furnishings.

A study by KSA Technopak has revealed that cotton continues to occupy a major chunk of the textile market and is a major employment generator and foreign exchange earner in the export basket.

After staple food grain production, cotton continues to dominate in the Indian agriculture scene, said Arvind Singhal of KSA Technopak.

Commissioned studies in various markets have revealed that India is a major cotton consumer, with consumer still opting for the trusted natural fibre.

Through aggressive advertising campaign, the U.S. organisations are planning to woo back the Indian consumers to high-quality cotton fabrics, apparels and home furnishing.

"The Seal of Cotton will be the catalyst that will prompt increase demand for cotton to the benefit of the entire global cotton industry," said William B. Dunavant III, president of the Cotton Council International.

The cotton promoters estimate that every one percent increase in market share would generate an annual revenue of $40 billion for the industry, with the benefits trickling right down to the farmers.

Source: IANS
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