A new multilateral agreement is needed to promote sustainable cultivation and production of cotton products. And establishing this 'International Cotton Convention' should be one the priorities of the cotton industry's policy agenda. This was the view put across by Dr M.R. Scheffer, director of Noéton Knowledge Management BV, in his speech to the Annual Assembly of Eurocoton (the Committee of the Cotton and Allied Textile Industries of the EU) in Brussels earlier this week. He argued that the world is heading towards a shortage of fibre and water by 2010, and that the serious environmental impacts of cotton cultivation must be addressed in order to guarantee its pre-eminence as a global fibre.