A joint programme has been launched to raise awareness of responsible growing practices among cotton producers in the US and Australia.

Cotton Leads will be aimed at textile brands, retailers and manufacturers who are committed to sourcing cotton grown in a responsible and transparent manner.

The two countries, which together account for 17% of global cotton production, say that their national-level oversight, regulatory enforcement and transparency validate the programme.

“Cotton Leads is designed to assist businesses along the cotton supply chain with their sustainability goals,” said Berrye Worsham, president and CEO of Cotton Incorporated.

“Apparel brands, retailers and manufacturers require large volumes and a reliable supply of responsibly-produced fibre, as well as proof of responsible production.

“Through Cotton Leads we demonstrate how cotton grown in the United States and Australia can help meet these requirements.”

Founding members include Cotton Australia, Cotton Incorporated and The National Cotton Council of America and its export promotion programme, Cotton Council International.