The ICAC says its Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) means there will be an expert committee that combines perspectives and opinions from every sector of the cotton supply chain for the first time in the cotton industry.

The PSAC was born out of the success of its predecessor, the Private Sector Advisory Panel, whose members were private sector professionals from several areas of the cotton supply chain. The new PSAC is populated by executives from national, regional and international cotton and textile organisations, rather than from individual private businesses. Currently, membership is only open to individuals representing organisations from ICAC member countries, but later this year, executives from UN organisations, the World Trade Organization (WTO), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-ICAC member countries will be permitted to join as ‘observers’.

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Membership of the PSAC is free and its mandate is to foster communication between the private sector and ICAC member governments in order to raise global industry concerns and promote global and regional initiatives that benefit the cotton industry.

“Governments recognise the importance of working more closely and collaboratively with the private sector to develop national policies and international initiatives that will help promote a sustainable, transparent supply chain and increase the demand for cotton,” says ICAC executive director Kai Hughes.

“In order to better represent the global cotton supply chain, the ICAC has replaced the PSAP with a new, more inclusive and diverse PSAC, whose membership consists of international, national and regional associations covering all sectors from production and trade, to textiles, retailers and brands.”

There are four permanent committees of the PSAC:

  • Spinners, weavers and machinery manufacturers,
  • Brands and retailers,
  • Producers and ginners, and
  • Merchants and ancillary services.

There are currently 53 founding members of the PSAC. The first PSAC meeting was held by the merchants and ancillary services committee in mid-March, with members from each of the other committees working to schedule their inaugural meetings now. One of their first tasks will be to nominate three members from each permanent committee to serve on the PSAC executive committee.

Earlier this month, the ICAC said global cotton production for 2021/22 season is projected to be 26.11m tonnes and consumption holding steady at 25.67m tonnes. Yet while the fundamentals are fine, the problem is getting the fibre to the spinners.